How the labour leader fared on Sunday, according to our political commentators:

Audrey Young
political editor
9 out of 10

The best he has ever been. A superbly crafted speech with enough substance to appeal to the public and delivered with enough fire in his belly to appeal to the party base. Not a hint of the pressure he must have been feeling. He has set a new standard for himself that might be hard to maintain.

Claire Trevett
deputy political editor
9 out of 10

Lived up to Michelle Obama-esque introduction given by his wife Anuschka. Performed with conviction and humour under pressure. Most importantly, managed to get a rapt reaction to quell suggestions that he could not get the support of Labour's rank and file. Did not overplay his background and affordable housing a wise choice for an Auckland-based conference.

John Armstrong
political correspondent
9 out of 10

More than did the job asked of it. Hard to fault in any respect, be it substance or delivery. After his week from hell, Shearer's speech showed he can handle pressure on any level. Did enough to suggest that Labour willing to be bold and offer a real altenative to National in 2014. The speech and the conference's ecstatic reaction should have snuffed out David Cunliffe's leadership challenge.