Despite a strong campaign from outsider Lisa Nandy, and the Corbynite credentials of Rebecca Long-Bailey, Keir Starmer sailed to victory.

The scale of his landslide election was perhaps more surprising: success on the first round; a greater number of votes than Corbyn in 2015; and an NEC recaptured from Corbynite domination. All of this by a man who supported Owen Smith’s aborted leadership challenge in the 2016 “leadership coup”.

Although Starmer has yet to articulate a detailed vision for the nation beyond his cautious campaign message of “unity”, there’s no doubt that his election as leader marks a decisive departure from both Corbyn and Corbynism. The ongoing coronavirus crisis eclipses other issues at present; however, it’s important that businesses use this period to plan for the future. As part of that, business leaders should reflect on the opportunities to re-engage with Starmer’s Labour Party.

1. New personalities and policy engines

Starmer’s reintroduction of talented pro-business MPs frozen out of the Shadow Cabinet since 2016 lends business an opportunity for renewed constructive engagement. John McDonnell’s replacement by the highly regarded Anneliese Dodds as Shadow Chancellor is indicative of Starmer’s eagerness for politically-reliable policy experts.

While Momentum’s influence seems likely to wane, there’s a distinctly Fabian feel to Starmer’s initial appointments, and the launch of the Labour to Win umbrella organisation, encompassing Corbynsceptic groups Progress and Labour First, suggests there’s a fresh impetus for the traditional mainstream to drive change in the Party.

The influence of Starmer loyalists such as Carolyn Harris, who is believed to have lobbied hard for Nick Thomas-Symond’s appointment, is also evidently on the rise. Harris’s influence suggests she will take the mantle left by Tom Watson on the cross-party issue of gambling policy reform.

2. Greater openness

Starmer’s leadership, and the end of the Corbyn-McDonnell duopoly in the Labour Party, suggests we’ll see a retreat from ideological posturing and the innate suspicion with which old-school Bennite MPs perceive business. Symbolism is important, and it’s improbable we’ll see Dodds waving Mao’s Little Red Book in Parliament.

Greater openness within Labour’s Shadow Cabinet presents an opportunity for innovative businesses such as energy challenger brands and disruptive digital companies to engage with Labour to shape market-oriented policies that influence the government’s agenda.

3. Renewed localism

A third implication of Starmer’s election relates to local government. Labour still leads many powerful local authorities. During his campaign, Starmer advocated the virtues of greater localism in politics with appeals to greater devolution of power from Westminster.

Nick Forbes, Leader of the Local Government Association (LGA) Labour Group, was invited to join Starmer’s first Shadow Cabinet meeting to provide an update of the work being done by local government during the coronavirus crisis. Although greater calls for localism are often hackneyed, Starmer’s commitment to local politics suggests strategic engagement with local authorities will continue to be crucial to influencing everything from hyper-local issues to national policy.

Engagement with Keir Starmer’s Labour Party might not seem like an urgent issue for business. However, using this time to understand the implications of new personalities and the opportunities created by a renewed openness, and also reflecting on the continuing significance of local politics, will pay dividends down the line.