Ed Miliband elected Labour leader

The younger Miliband wins with 50.65 per cent of the vote.

It's over. Ed Miliband has just been elected Labour's new leader with 50.65 per cent of the vote -- the tightest result since Tony Benn and Denis Healey in 1981. It's a great moment for progressive politics and a huge achievement for Ed, whose impressive and energetic campaign allowed him to come from behind to win.

The New Statesman was one of the few mainstream publications to endorse Ed's leadership bid and we're delighted at his success. Labour now has a chance to renew itself under a progressive and unambiguously social-democratic leader.

For those who missed it, here's the result in full:

First round

Diane Abbott: 7.4%,

Ed Balls: 11.8%.

Andy Burnham: 8.7%.

David Miliband: 37.8%.

Ed Miliband: 34.3%.

(Abbott eliminated)

Second round

Ed Balls: 13.2%

Andy Burnham: 10.4%

David Miliband: 38.9%

Ed Miliband: 37.5%

(Burnham eliminated)

Third round

Ed Balls: 16%

David Miliband: 42.7%

Ed Miliband: 41.3%

(Balls eliminated)

Fourth round

David Miliband: 49.35%

Ed Miliband: 50.65%

(Ed Miliband elected)

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

Jeremy Corbyn delivers a speech on the arts in north London on September 1, 2015. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Can Labour MPs force Corbyn to bring back shadow cabinet elections?

It is not up to the parliamentary party whether the contests are reintroduced. 

Soon after Jeremy Corbyn became the frontrunner in the Labour leadership contest, it was reported that he intended to bring back shadow cabinet elections. But as I later wrote, that's not the case. Corbyn has resolved that he will maintain the right to appoint his own team, rather than having it elected by MPs (as was the case before Ed Miliband changed the system in 2011). As he wrote in the NS: "Whoever emerges as leader on 12 September needs a shadow cabinet in place as soon as possible. I will appoint a strong, diverse shadow cabinet to hold this government to account from day one."

Now, ahead of his likely victory a week on Saturday, Corbyn is under pressure from some MPs to reverse his stance. Barry Sheerman, the former education select commitee chair, told me that he wanted a "serious discussion" within the PLP about the return of the elections. While some support their reinstatement on principled grounds, others recognise that there is a tactical advantage in Corbyn's opponents winning a mandate from MPs. His hand would be further weakened (he has the declared support of just 14 of his Commons colleagues). 

But their reinstatement is not as simple as some suggest. One senior MP told me that those demanding their return "had not read the rule book". Miliband's decision to scrap the elections was subsequently approved at party conference meaning that only this body can revive them. A simple majority of MPs is not enough. 

With Corbyn planning to have a new team in place as soon as possible after his election, there is little prospect of him proposing such upheaval at this point. Meanwhile, Chuka Umunna has attracted much attention by refusing to rule out joining the left-winger's shadow cabinet if he changes his stances on nuclear disarmament, Nato, the EU and taxation (a lengthy list). Umunna is unlikely to remain on the frontbench but having previously pledged not to serve, he now recognises that there is value in being seen to at least engage with Corbyn. Were he to simply adopt a stance of aggression, he would risk being blamed if the backbencher failed. It is one example of how the party's modernisers recognise they need to play a smarter game. I explore this subject further in my column in tomorrow's NS

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.