The results are only the beginning of the story

I’m sure you’ve all seen the results of the Parliamentary Labour Party elections by now, but in case you’ve been in a cave, coma, or drunken stupor, I’m going to reproduce them here anyway.

The 19 elected members are*:

Yvette Cooper 232
John Healey 192
Ed Balls 179
Andy Burnham 165
Angela Eagle 165
Alan Johnson 163
Douglas Alexander 160
Jim Murphy 160
Tessa Jowell 152
Caroline Flint 139
John Denham 129
Hilary Benn 128
Sadiq Khan 128
Mary Creagh 119
Ann McKechin 117
Maria Eagle 107
Meg Hillier 106
Ivan Lewis 104
Liam Byrne 100

They will be joining Harriet Harman, Rosie Winterton, Tony Lloyd, Lady Royall, and Lord Bassam to form Ed Miliband’s first Shadow Cabinet.

What we don’t know, and will be interesting to see will be who gets what jobs. Will Ed cement his leadership with some smart strategic moves? Can he use this to get beyond the psycho-drama of the battle with his brother?

What most commentators are focussing on is who will be given the shadow chancellor’s job. Ed Balls is known to covet the post, but his wife is a trained economist and served as chief secretary to the Treasury in the past. But will Ed M want to give so much power to leadership rival Balls? Will he be thinking of the Blair-Brown struggles from 1992 to 2007? I would understand if he chose not to give Balls the job. But the media’s alternative of Yvette Cooper doesn’t stop the possiblity of an axis forming. She is married to Balls after all.

So where could he go? Burnham and Byrne both served at the Treasury at different times. And he has people to reward from his campaign. Patronage to build, relationships to mend.

Looking at the list it is apparent to me that this cabinet will have a new look. Some experienced ministers mixed with new cabinet blood will make definitely make it seem like the next generation have arrived. It’s also interesting to note that the PLP has not chosen a  lurch to the left in electing this cabinet. There are some prominent members from the right-wing of Labour on that list.

It will be interesting to see how this new cabinet comes together to take the fight to the coalition. Especially with the spending review approaching rapidly. It’s certainly not going to be a quiet autumn. 

*If you want to know a bit more about some of the less recognisable names, Labour Uncut has a nice breakdown here.

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