Ed Miliband not only passed the third test he had to face since becoming leader, he did so with flying colours. He had David Cameron floundering around looking for answers to Ed Miliband's questions. Indeed, he was so bereft he decided his best tactic would be to ask his own, to which EM's reply was, "Naught out of two on straight answers," which is odd for the man who prided himself on being straight, and as was pointed out, was proud of his Cameron Direct meetings.
This came back to haunt Mr. Cameron when Ed Miliband, giving not only his quote that child benefit would be safe as a universal benefit under him, but the precise date and location, allowing no wriggle room. After Cameron's lacklustre reply, the leader of the opposition retorted, "I agree with the Prime Minister, why doesn't he?"
This was a startlingly good first PMQ's from Ed Miliband, and as many of us have said, it would be dangerous for Cameron to underestimate him. You don't win a long and arduous campaign to lead your party without something, whatever the inadequacies of the electoral college system.
No doubt next week will see Cameron up his game, and Ed will have to do his, as he won't have the open goal that child benefit affords him. But like a striker, you need to score all your open goals. Since Ed Miliband's promotion to the political premier league he has been impressing more and more people with his ability to rise to the challenges before him.
His leader's speech at the party conference raised some eyebrows, but set out he was a tough man, who wouldn't be held hostage to any faction. Although his appointments to the Shadow Cabinet have caused some surprises, he more than made up for that with second and third rank appointments, really bringing in the 'New Generation.' Then he follows it up with today's brillaint performance, which the vast majority, including leading Tory bloggers like Tim Montgomerie, see as a big win for Ed.
So, as we await the biggest test yet, the spending review a week taday, Ed is the one who has grabbed the headlines, or at least those not taken up by the Chilean mine rescue, and seized the initiative on the child benefit debate, Now he needs to hammer that home, be as ruthless with the government, as he was with his own brother.