They know government from the outside, from the sidelines, from parliamentary questions but not from the inside. It will be really interesting to see how the Cameron-Clegg government copes not just with the issues where they can set the agenda - like police reform - but where the Goverment is mugged daily by reality - like Pakistan or Yemen. I suspect they will find Labour acted not so much out of incompetence but in desperation.
They will also find that because a government wills something does not make it so. A number of ministers will benefit tremendously from the comparison to their predecessors. I mean Bob Ainsworth v Liam Fox? No competetion really.
But this benefit will only last so long. Soon the press will get bored of the newness of the Con-Lib deal and go on the offensive. The in-test will grow and the tough compromises of government will have to be made. David Cameron and Nick Clegg have shown they can make these. Now their ministers will have to show the same mettle.