Labour, as the only major Opposition party, will be strongly placed to scrutinise and challenge the choices in the Emergency Budget this summer.
But, this Autumn, things will be different.
There will be two governing party conferences. The media will be fascinated by the grassroots debates - a chance to hear the Tory and LibDem grassroots challenge their ministers over pressures and tensions in their arranged marriage.
Labour's event will matter to party members but may appear something of a sideshow to a broader public - struggling for attention perhaps much as the LibDem conference has in the past.
That could be particularly difficult for a newly elected leader after a summer contest. After a summer contest, our hyperactive and impatient public political culture will already be asking how they can break through.
So opposing a Coalition is another good reason for Labour to use its Autumn conference to engage as many people as possible in the leadership contest, alongside the core arguments for a proper post-defeat debate, which we have already made.
Tom Watson makes the case at Liberal Conspiracy.
we’re in this for the long haul. And though depressing, it gives us plenty of time to prepare for the next general election.
So why don’t we learn from Michael Howard? Why not turn our conference into a platform for our future leaders. Give a day to each candidate to make their pitch. We could even test their TV skills with a big election-style debate.
The Labour Party couldn’t do this for much of the 1980’s because it was split. Using our conference to focus on potential leaders would have been suicidal. Yet we now have some amazingly talented potential candidates. They’re all broadly pro-european progressive social democrats who can make a difference.
Whichever of them wins, they’re going to lead a newly invigorated Labour party. I’m told 3000 people have joined or re-joined in the last 48 hours. We should give these members the chance to have their say about the future.