The Labour leadership battle is over. Official campaigning went on for just over a month but speculation and debate had been rife since the resignation of Ed Miliband in May making the contest one of the most public leadership battles in recent memory.
Yvette Cooper, Liz Kendall, Jeremy Corbyn and Andy Burnham each presented different interpretations of the party and its future to the voting electorate and indeed the wider public.
As predicted it was Jeremy Corbyn who managed to win the election; but few had predicted by just how much Mr Corbyn would win the contest. In the end only one round of voting was needed and Corbyn managed to achieve around 59.5 per cent of the vote.
The battle has not been without intrigue and division; many are confused as to which way the party should go having faced defeat in the 2015 election. Many criticised the left leanings of Jeremy Corbyn and his move away from the New Labour centre ground that has been the position of the party since the leadership of Tony Blair. Others saw the late entrant as an opportunity to reinvigorate the Labour party and deemed that it was time to differentiate themselves from the Conservative party in a more visible manner.
The party’s voting system was revised for this election with traditional special weights for trade unions and MP’s having been removed. Over 100,000 people joined the party as supporters; paying £3.00 to be able to cast their vote. A system which many criticised at the time for allowing potential opponents of the Labour Party to sabotage the vote.
At the same time the party also elected a new deputy leader as Harriet Harman stepped down after eight years in the job. Her replacement will be Tom Watson who won the position with 50.7 per cent of the vote. Watson also rejects Blairite politics and shares his new leader’s distrust of the Murdoch empire, having worked to uncover the extent of the phone hacking scandal.
Mr Corbyn has a number of hurdles to face before the next general election in 2020 including the distrust of many members of his own party as well as rebranding and reforming a Labour Party that is still haunted by the results of the 2015 election.