Ed is a formidable campaigner - fighting the 'unwinnable' Kingston and Surbiton seat in 1997 - with no central help and a 15,000 Tory majority. The selection for the Tory nomination (between Richard Tracey and Norman Lamont) was seen by the media as the decisive contest. In the end Ed won by just 56 votes, but carried on campaigning so just four years later romped home with a majority of more than 15,000.
He has been regarded as one of the most able ministers - piloting through a deal that has delivered a long term future for post offices and ending once and for all the post office closure programmes of the last two governments. He has also equalised parental leave so that new parents can choose how to take their statutory time off between them.
In February 1997 - he was tipped by the Independent as a future cabinet minister in 2020 - saying:
...Davey became politically active as a student "discussing the minutiae of energy conservation and green economics" and conservationism is his big issue. He believes citizens should be viewed as "custodians of the environment and not just consumers".
He has made it with eight years to spare to a post he is eminently qualified for.