It seems the talk of the winning candidate becoming Deputy PM was just that, talk. Maybe John Cruddas knew something the others didn't. The best news of course is the demise of Hazel Blears - this election if it did nothing else proved the status-quo-wing of the party is small and a Blairite cheerleader like Hazel (while very hard working) was never going to prove the most popular amongst the membership. Hazel coming in last demonstrated how little support this wing of the party have and it will be the end of her irritating stint as party chair (Brown has announcd Harman will now be chair).
52% turnout amongst party members is not bad considering we were only electing a deputy. Only 9% turnout among levy paying union and affiliate members is more disturbing but combined it still means over 400,000 votes were cast in this election, well over twice the number of votes that were cast in the Tory leadership election.
So Gordon Brown is enjoying his 'bounce' already and Labour have taken a 3 point opinion poll lead. If this lead keeps growing over the coming months - the temptation to call an autumn election will become irresistable. An early election would also shut up the opposition taunts about Brown not having a mandata. As many of you know, I am not a fan of Brown but his recent talk of 'constitutional renewal', his overtures to the Lib Dems and hints of the Alternative vote for Westminster are very welcome and I hope it is not just meaningless spin. Here's hoping!