It was a leadership contest between two men from almost identical backgrounds, and one in which ideological or policy differences were rarely allowed to surface. Therefore a near tie was the logical result.
It has been obvious from reading Lib Dem blogs in recent weeks that Nick has the ability to evoke tremendous loyalty among younger activists. (I suspect those of us who favoured Chris Huhne tend to be older and are less starry-eyed about politics and life in general.)
This is an undoubted asset, but if he going to generate similarly warm feelings amongst the electorate Nick is going to have to display the immense ability to communicate that has often been claimed for him, but was too rarely displayed during the campaign.
The irony is that I have always suspected that I am closer to Nick on policy than I am to Chris. However, given the policy-free campaign, it is hard to be sure.
Writing in The Times last week, Peter Riddell said:
Along with close allies such as David Laws and Norman Lamb, he has been keen to open the supply side in schools and health. He wants to encourage new providers, as in Sweden, though with more help for poorer parents in order to reduce inequality.If he leads the Liberal Democrats in that direction I shall be greatly encouraged. If he had said it during the campaign, I would probably have voted for him.