It was bound to be Ed, as this site has said throughout the contest. I send him congratulations on his victory.
The task ahead is to answer some of the country’s questions about what went wrong in the last five years. Why, for example, did Labour’s very own system for regulating banks and other financial institutions get it so wrong, allowing such growth of risk and credit up to 2007? Why did they then get it wrong the other way, forcing such a tough pace of contraction that even Northern Rock, their favourite bank, got into difficulty? Why did they commit such huge sums of taxpayers money to rescue by buying shares and underwriting, when a more sensible money policy and lender of last resort actions coupled with sales of assets would have been a cheaper way of avoiding deposit losses for taxpayers?
They also need to answer how they managed to spend so much in the public sector, and borrow so much, without obtaining the big improvements in public services people wanted? How did they preside over 5 million people out of work and on benefit even at the height of the boom? Why did all the spending and borrowing fail to keep the economy going as they promised?
The test for Mr Miliband is whether he is indeed Red Ed, keen just to argue for more public spending and borrowing come what may, or whether he will develop a reform agenda. Will he recognise that the Labour model went wrong? That many voters want something different and better? That Labour needs to have a message for people of enterprise and for savers as well?
It will be interesting to watch how it develops. I expect Mr Miliband to seek to move back from the left now he has won the leadership. The government should not underestimate him. He is a modern politician who has risen without trace and has put little of his views on the record. It will get more competitive from here – only Mr Balls has shown much aggression so far from the Opposition benches, making it easier for Ministers.