Well done to Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham for securing the chance to continue their campaigns campaign. Credit for assists goes to acting leader Harriet Harman, who responded to calls from party members and supporters for MPs to ensure a broader contest and avoid charges of a stitch-up, and to rival candidates John McDonnell, who dropped out to nominate Abbott; David Miliband, who followed through on his offer of a nomination to a rival; and Ed Balls, who asked MPs to nominate Abbott once he had reached the threshold.
Diane Abbott has certainly done better than any other member of the Campaign Group for a couple of decades in building bridges across the party: perhaps Abbott nominees such as David Miliband, Chris Bryant, Harriet Harman and David Lammy could now be given some form of honorary membership of the left-wing caucus, assuming they are not quite ready to sign up.
But this outbreak of comradely fraternalism (and, indeed, sororal solidarity) is proving discombobulating for some. One dissenting voice comes from my Fabian Executive colleague Paul Richards, who regularly contributes a staunch 'no turning back' New Labour voice in his Progress commentaries.
He tweets that:
Some of us spent decades fighting the hard left. Now our MPs are falling over themselves to get the Campaign Group on the ballot. Crazy.
But surely Paul should have more confidence that the Labour membership and electoral college will see things his way?
Indeed, this will be the first time a Campaign Group member has been on the leadership ballot since the Benn-Heffer challenge to Neil Kinnock and Roy Hattersley in the late 1980s.
And we will all get to find out how far the pattern of preferences among MPs and party members differs. To the extent, that there is a somewhat Old Milibandite argument that the Parliamentary Party is suppressing majority support among party members for a much more distinctive vision of the Socialist true faith it is likely to prove somewhat overstated. (Many people forget that Tony Blair won 55% in a 3-way contest the union and affiliates section in 1995, as well as majorities among MPs and party members).
Abbott may well seek to mount a somewhat broader appeal than previous Campaign Group candidates, and the Alternative Vote system allows 'expressive' or symbolic voting on first preferences, much beloved by the French left in the first ballot of their own elections, without losing the opportunity to also vote strategically.
Nobody would predict that Abbott could win the contest. That may, of course, partly explain why so many voices from the right, centre and soft left of the party have taken a rather different view of the virtues for the party of a broader contest than their predecessors may have done in 1981, though Abbott must think she could have some chance of finishing ahead of at least one of her four New(-ish) Labour rivals.