Polling just shy of 60% on the first round is nothing less than an astonishing achievement. Absolute majorities in the registered supporter and affiliates sections. A commanding lead a whisker off 50% in the full members section. If these weren't legitimacy enough, this is despite the pruning of some 50,000 duplicate votes and 4,000 "undesirables". Forget the froth you'll see over the coming days, including this childish nonsense, Jeremy Corbyn has a firmer mandate than that ever enjoyed by any other Labour leader. And, as I write this, the join pages on the Labour Party website are groaning under new applications strengthening an already impregnable position. With the boundary review coming up, any MP challenging today's result would be foolhardy indeed.
What now? There is a mountain to climb and many imponderables, but between now and 2020 there are many battles to be fought. The Tories' proposals for trade unions makes you question who the real admirers of Vladimir Putin are. Another go at dragging Britain into the Syrian civil war is hardly likely to bring about the desirable results. Their green lighting of fracking up and down Britain and pouring cash into the HS2 money pit. All of these are going to touch off protest and conflict of some sort that will have electoral ramifications later on. Whatever one thinks of Jeremy Corbyn, under his watch Labour will have clear positions on them. Indeed, given that Jeremy's first political engagement as leader was to address a refugee solidarity crowd, I expect he'll be leading from the front on a few of these as well. If politics is to matter, it has to connect with the issues people find important to them. The Tories might feel smug now, but their cheers could later be recalled as naive memories as Jeremy champions the millions in swing constituencies not wanting to see their house prices and local environment blighted by a multi-billion choo-choo set and fracking rigs.
As for us, the normal members, those who voted Jeremy and the minority - like me - who didn't, we have a responsibility to make the new situation work. Even the penny has dropped among the 4.5%'ers that "resistance" has to be constructive, meaning engagement with the more open process of policy formation Jeremy favours and, crucially, realising they can only come back if they organise and recruit. I for one look forward to my MP leading a new member drive at constituency level.
The immediate - and eminently doable - job at hand is thwarting the Tories' bid to redraw constituency boundaries to their advantage. They want to make sure constituencies have roughly the same numbers of electors in each, and the Boundary Commission will receive their orders - like last time - to go not by the number of residents, i.e. potential voters, but those on the register. As the tendency across all advanced societies is for the poor to be disengaged from the political process, this is a direct attack on the base of our party and Labour should not take this lying down. We have the numbers and enthusiasm of hundreds of thousands of members, and rather let that ebb away on social media or interminable GC debates at CLP meetings, we as a mass should turn outwards. Jeremy won the Labour leadership election on the basis of growing our electorate, so that's what we should do - particularly in those seats where organisation has been taken for granted as per Scotland.
Politics is a brutal, filthy business. It's about interests and power, so how could it be otherwise? Even members accustomed to Labour being at the sharp end of calumny might be shocked by the shite about to be poured over our party by the press, the broadcast media, established commentators, and even some nominally on our own side. The point is not to let this distract us. Screaming bias into a social media circle of like-minded souls might be cathartic, but nowhere near as effective as taking to the streets, building campaigns, and getting more members into the party and the trade unions. Let's get to it.