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Tony Blair was elected as the Leader of the Labour Party
Margaret Beckett was a candidate for the Leader of the Labour Party
John Prescott was a candidate for the Leader of the Labour Party

A leadership election was held on July 21, 1994 for the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, after the death of incumbent leader John Smith. With the unpopularity of John Major's Conservative Party following Black Wednesday and a number of sleaze scandals the 1994 election would ultimately decide not only Labour's new leader but also likely the next Prime Minister. The election was the first held under the new leadership election rules, including an element of one member one vote, which had been introduced in 1993.

Beckett had served as interim leader, whilst Blair had been Shadow Home Secretary. It has been widely speculated that Gordon Brown did not stand due to a pact with Blair at the Granita restaurant. Robin Cook stated he would not run as he did not believe he was attractive enough to the general electorate and this would damage the party at the next election.

Margaret Beckett was the first and so far, only female Labour MP to ever stand for the leadership of the Labour Party.

The 'electoral college' system meant that members of affiliated groups (mostly trades unions), the members of constituency parties, and Labour MPs were weighted equally.


Affiliated Constituencies PLP Total
Tony Blair 52.3 58.2 60.5 57.0
John Prescott 28.4 24.4 19.6 24.1
Margaret Beckett 19.3 17.4 19.9 18.9

Blair won, and took the party to its first general election victory for 23 years at the 1997 general election. Prescott became his Deputy, and Beckett and Brown served in the Shadow Cabinet and then the Cabinet throughout the leadership of Tony Blair.

Blair retired in 2007 and a further leadership election then took place.

See also




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