So the results are in and Ed has pipped his big brother to the Labour leadership by 51% to 49%. Not that a small winning margin necessarily dilutes one’s margin. Deputy Prime Minister Clegg beat Chris Huhne by a tiny amount and he’s done alright for himself.

I suspect it is less the scoreline that will undermine Ed and more a cantankerous Balls as Shadow Chancellor, a man with an unswerving, unnerving belief in his own abilities who may struggle to shout his ego down and stop believing that he should really be in charge. Will those internal briefing reflexes kick in if it doesn’t work out with Ed in charge? We’ll have to wait and see.

Similarly, I can’t see David Miliband wanting to go through this ordeal only to remain as Shadow Foreign Minister for four long years. I wonder if big brother is considering the private sector.

On policy, the cheers from the Tory HQ will have been genuine but potentially misguided. Genuine because Ed’s assertion that Darling’s pre-election stance of halving the budget in 4 years is ‘just the beginning’ suggests a worryingly complacent return to increasing spending but misplaced because although the coalition-friendly media’s narrative is that Cameron has won the argument on cutting the deficit, we don’t have the detail of this year’s £9bn of cuts, let alone next year’s £41bn. If the public is thinking that Osborne isn’t so bad as Chancellor after all then they may be ignorant to the wave of pain that’s on its way.

What say the Greens? Well, I suspect that their already stifled voices will be even harder to hear now as Ed’s genuine green credentials are more than sufficient for a regrettably disinterested public.

Another aspect to this result is that strong union support for Ed suggests weak MP support. How quickly will Alan Johnson, Tom Harris, Jim Murphy etc slide their support for David as squarely behind Ed? I suspect Labour’s period of introspection will continue largely unabated.

The new Labour leader may have the unions on his side and the policies in his corner, but does he have his party at his back?