1994 Labour Party leadership election
← 1992 30 June – 21 July 1994 (1994-06-30 – 1994-07-21) 2007 →
Candidate Tony Blair John Prescott Margaret Beckett
Overall result 57.0% 24.1% 18.9%
Affiliated unions 52.3% 28.4% 19.3%
Party members 58.2% 24.4% 17.4%
MPs & MEPs 60.5% 19.6% 19.9%

Leader before election

Margaret Beckett (interim)

Elected Leader

Tony Blair

The 1994 Labour Party leadership election was held on 21 July 1994 following the death of the incumbent leader, John Smith, on 12 May. Tony Blair won the leadership and became Prime Minister after winning the 1997 general election.

The election was the first held under the new leadership election rules that had been introduced in 1993, which included an element of one member, one vote. The poll for leader was held simultaneously with a deputy leadership vote.


Margaret Beckett had been the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, and following Smith's death was serving as acting leader; she was the first female Labour MP ever to stand for the leadership of the party (and remained the only such MP until Diane Abbott announced her candidacy for the 2010 leadership election). Tony Blair was, at the time of his candidature, the Shadow Home Secretary.

It has been widely speculated that Shadow Chancellor Gordon Brown did not stand due to a pact agreed with Blair at the Granita restaurant in Islington, North London. Shortly after John Smith's death, Roy Hattersley telephoned Blair and urged him to stand for the Party leadership. Blair informed Hattersley that he was worried about "hurting Gordon" to which Hattersley replied that he should tell Gordon Brown that there had been "a lot of people in the past who had wanted to be leader of the Labour Party and have come to terms with the fact that they weren't going to be" and that Brown would have to be part of a line that "goes back a very long way".[1]

However, in a MORI poll conducted shortly after Smith's death among all Labour supporters, Blair took 32 per cent, Prescott 21 per cent, Beckett and Brown 12 per cent each, and Cook 7 per cent, suggesting that Brown had little chance of winning anyway.[2]

Robin Cook, the Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry stated that he would not run, as he did not believe he was attractive enough to the general electorate and that this would damage the party at the next election. John Prescott, who had stood at the 1992 deputy leadership election and lost to Beckett, stood again for both leader and deputy leader.

The "electoral college" system that had been introduced meant that the votes of members of affiliated groups (mostly trades unions), the members of constituency parties, and Labour MPs were all weighted equally.


Candidate[3] Affiliated
Overall result
Votes % Votes % Votes % %
Tony Blair Green tickY 407,637 52.3 100,313 58.2 198 60.5 57.0
John Prescott 221,367 28.4 42,053 24.4 64 19.6 24.1
Margaret Beckett 150,422 19.3 29,990 17.4 65 19.9 18.9

Tony Blair won, and led the party to its first general election victory for twenty-three years at the 1997 Election. Prescott won the deputy leadership poll, and went on to become Deputy Prime Minister during Blair's premiership. Beckett would also serve both in the Shadow Cabinet and then the Cabinet throughout Blair's term as leader, eventually becoming the last of the three Foreign Secretaries of the Blair ministries.

The next leadership election to take place occurred when Blair resigned in June 2007; this election was won by Gordon Brown, who ran uncontested. The next contested election would be in 2010, when Brown resigned.

How each MP voted

MP Leader vote Deputy Leader vote
Diane Abbott Beckett Beckett
Irene Adams Prescott Prescott
Nick Ainger Blair Prescott
Bob Ainsworth Blair Prescott
Graham Allen Blair Beckett
Donald Anderson Blair Beckett
Janet Anderson Blair Prescott
Hilary Armstrong Blair Beckett
Joe Ashton Blair Prescott
John Austin-Walker Beckett Beckett
Tony Banks Beckett Beckett
Harry Barnes Beckett Beckett
Kevin Barron Blair Prescott
John Battle Beckett Beckett
Hugh Bayley Blair Prescott
Margaret Beckett Beckett Beckett
Stuart Bell Blair Beckett
Tony Benn Prescott Beckett
Andrew Bennett Prescott Prescott
Joe Benton Blair Prescott
Gerry Bermingham Blair Prescott
Roger Berry Prescott Beckett
Clive Betts Blair Beckett
Tony Blair Blair None
David Blunkett Blair Prescott
Paul Boateng Blair Beckett
Roland Boyes Beckett Beckett
Keith Bradley Blair Prescott
Jeremy Bray Blair Prescott
Gordon Brown Blair Beckett
Nick Brown Beckett Beckett
Richard Burden Blair Prescott
Stephen Byers Blair Beckett
Richard Caborn Prescott Prescott
Jim Callaghan Blair Prescott
Anne Campbell Blair Beckett
Ronnie Campbell Prescott Beckett
Dale Campbell-Savours Blair Beckett
Dennis Canavan Beckett Beckett
Jamie Cann Blair Prescott
Malcolm Chisholm Beckett Beckett
Judith Church Blair Beckett
Michael Clapham Prescott Beckett
David Clark Blair Beckett
Eric Clarke Prescott Prescott
Tom Clarke Blair Beckett
David Clelland Blair Beckett
Ann Clwyd Blair Prescott
Ann Coffey Blair Prescott
Harry Cohen Beckett Beckett
Michael Connarty Blair Prescott
Robin Cook Blair Prescott
Frank Cook Prescott Prescott
Robin Corbett Blair Prescott
Jeremy Corbyn Beckett Beckett
Jean Corston Beckett Beckett
Jim Cousins Beckett Beckett
Tom Cox Blair Beckett
John Cummings Blair Prescott
Lawrence Cunliffe Blair Prescott
Jack Cunningham Blair Beckett
Jim Cunningham Blair Prescott
Tam Dalyell Prescott Prescott
Alistair Darling Blair Beckett
Ian Davidson Prescott Prescott
Bryan Davies Blair Prescott
Denzil Davies Prescott Beckett
Ron Davies Blair Prescott
Terry Davis Prescott Prescott
John Denham Blair Beckett
Donald Dewar Blair Beckett
Don Dixon Prescott Prescott
Frank Dobson Blair Beckett
Brian Donohoe Prescott Prescott
Jim Dowd Blair Prescott
Jimmy Dunnachie Blair Prescott
Gwyneth Dunwoody Prescott Prescott
Angela Eagle Beckett Beckett
Ken Eastham Prescott Prescott
Derek Enright Blair Prescott
Bill Etherington Prescott Prescott
John Evans Blair Prescott
Derek Fatchett Beckett Beckett
Andrew Faulds Blair Prescott
Frank Field Blair Prescott
Mark Fisher Blair Prescott
Paul Flynn Blair Beckett
Derek Foster Blair Beckett
George Foulkes Blair Prescott
John Fraser Blair Beckett
Maria Fyfe Beckett Beckett
Sam Galbraith Blair Beckett
George Galloway None None
Mike Gapes Blair Beckett
John Garrett Blair Beckett
Bruce George Blair Prescott
Neil Gerrard Beckett Beckett
John Gilbert Blair Prescott
Norman Godman Prescott Prescott
Roger Godsiff None None
Llin Golding Beckett Beckett
Mildred Gordon Beckett Beckett
Tommy Graham Prescott Prescott
Bernie Grant Beckett Beckett
Nigel Griffiths Blair Beckett
Win Griffiths Blair Beckett
Bruce Grocott Blair Prescott
John Gunnell Blair Prescott
Peter Hain Beckett Prescott
Mike Hall Prescott Prescott
David Hanson Blair Prescott
Peter Hardy Blair Beckett
Harriet Harman Blair Beckett
Roy Hattersley Blair Prescott
Doug Henderson Blair Beckett
John Heppell Beckett Beckett
Keith Hill Blair Beckett
David Hinchliffe Prescott Prescott
Margaret Hodge Blair Beckett
Kate Hoey Blair Beckett
Norman Hogg Blair Beckett
Jimmy Hood Prescott Prescott
Geoff Hoon Blair Beckett
George Howarth Blair Beckett
Kim Howells Blair Beckett
Doug Hoyle Prescott Prescott
Bob Hughes Prescott Prescott
Kevin Hughes Blair Prescott
Roy Hughes Blair Prescott
John Hutton Blair Beckett
Eric Illsley Prescott Prescott
Adam Ingram Blair Beckett
Glenda Jackson Blair Beckett
Helen Jackson Beckett Beckett
David Jamieson Blair Beckett
Greville Janner Blair Prescott
Barry Jones Blair Beckett
Jon Owen Jones Blair Prescott
Lynne Jones Beckett Beckett
Martyn Jones Prescott Prescott
Tessa Jowell Blair Beckett
Gerald Kaufman Blair Prescott
Alan Keen Blair Beckett
Jane Kennedy Blair Prescott
Piara Khabra Blair Prescott
Peter Kilfoyle Blair Prescott
Neil Kinnock Blair Beckett
Joan Lestor Prescott Prescott
Terry Lewis Beckett Prescott
Helen Liddell Blair Prescott
Bob Litherland Prescott Prescott
Ken Livingstone Beckett Beckett
Tony Lloyd Prescott Prescott
Geoffrey Lofthouse Blair Prescott
Eddie Loyden Beckett Beckett
Calum MacDonald Blair Prescott
Andrew MacKinlay Beckett Prescott
Max Madden Beckett Beckett
Alice Mahon Beckett Beckett
Peter Mandelson Blair Prescott
John Marek Beckett Beckett
David Marshall Prescott Beckett
Jim Marshall Beckett Beckett
Michael Martin Blair Prescott
Eric Martlew Blair Prescott
John Maxton Blair Beckett
John McAllion Prescott Prescott
Tommy McAvoy Blair Prescott
Ian McCartney Prescott Prescott
John McFall Blair Prescott
Willie McKelvey Prescott Prescott
Henry McLeish Blair Beckett
Gordon McMaster Prescott Prescott
Kevin McNamara Blair Beckett
Denis MacShane Blair Prescott
John McWilliam Blair Beckett
Michael Meacher Prescott Prescott
Alan Meale Prescott Prescott
Alun Michael Blair Beckett
Bill Michie Beckett Beckett
Alan Milburn Blair Beckett
Andrew Miller Blair Prescott
Austin Mitchell Blair Prescott
Lewis Moonie Blair Beckett
Rhodri Morgan Blair Prescott
Elliot Morley Blair Prescott
Alf Morris Blair Beckett
Estelle Morris Blair Prescott
John Morris Blair Prescott
Mo Mowlam Blair Prescott
George Mudie Blair Prescott
Chris Mullin Blair Beckett
Paul Murphy Blair Prescott
Mike O'Brien Blair Prescott
Bill O'Brien Blair Prescott
Eddie O'Hara Blair Prescott
Martin O'Neill Blair Prescott
Gordon Oakes Blair Beckett
Bill Olner Blair Prescott
Stan Orme Blair Prescott
Bob Parry Prescott Prescott
Terry Patchett Prescott Spoilt
Tom Pendry Blair Prescott
Colin Pickthall Prescott Prescott
Peter Pike Beckett Beckett
Greg Pope Blair Prescott
Ray Powell Prescott Prescott
Bridget Prentice Blair Prescott
Gordon Prentice Beckett Beckett
John Prescott Prescott Prescott
Dawn Primarolo Beckett Beckett
Ken Purchase Beckett Beckett
Joyce Quin Blair Beckett
Giles Radice Blair Beckett
Stuart Randall Blair Beckett
Nick Raynsford Blair Beckett
Martin Redmond Prescott Prescott
John Reid Blair Prescott
George Robertson Blair Beckett
John Home Robertson Blair Prescott
Geoffrey Robinson Blair Prescott
Barbara Roche Beckett Beckett
Allan Rogers Blair Prescott
Jeff Rooker Blair Prescott
Terry Rooney Beckett Prescott
Ernie Ross Blair Prescott
Ted Rowlands Blair Prescott
Joan Ruddock Blair Beckett
Brian Sedgemore Beckett Prescott
Barry Sheerman Blair Beckett
Robert Sheldon Blair Prescott
Peter Shore Blair Prescott
Clare Short Beckett Beckett
Alan Simpson Beckett Beckett
Dennis Skinner Beckett Beckett
Andrew Smith Blair Beckett
Chris Smith Blair Beckett
Llew Smith Prescott Beckett
Peter Snape Prescott Prescott
Clive Soley Blair Prescott
Nigel Spearing Beckett Beckett
John Spellar Blair Prescott
Rachel Squire Blair Beckett
Gerry Steinberg Blair Prescott
George Stevenson Beckett Beckett
Roger Stott Blair Prescott
Gavin Strang Blair Beckett
Jack Straw Blair None
Gerry Sutcliffe Blair Prescott
Ann Taylor Blair Beckett
Jack Thompson Blair Prescott
Stephen Timms Blair Beckett
Paddy Tipping Beckett Beckett
Dennis Turner Blair Beckett
Keith Vaz Blair Beckett
Harold Walker Blair Prescott
Joan Walley Prescott Prescott
Gareth Wardell None None
Bob Wareing Prescott Prescott
Mike Watson Blair Prescott
Malcolm Wicks Blair Prescott
Alan J. Williams Blair Prescott
Alan W. Williams Blair Beckett
Brian Wilson Blair Prescott
David Winnick Prescott Beckett
Audrey Wise Beckett Beckett
Tony Worthington Blair Prescott
Jimmy Wray Prescott Prescott
Tony Wright Blair Prescott
David Young Prescott Prescott


See also


  1. ^ "The Pursuit of Power". The Wilderness Years. 18 December 1995. BBC Two. Archived from the original on 24 July 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  2. ^ Macintyre, Donald (27 May 1994). "Surprise backing for Beckett in Labour leadership stakes: Donald Macintyre reports on how the likely candidates for John Smith's job are shaping up". The Independent. Archived from the original on 1 May 2022. Retrieved 8 July 2020.
  3. ^ Rentoul, John (20 June 2013). Tony Blair: Prime Minister. Faber & Faber. ISBN 9780571299874. Retrieved 17 January 2016.
  4. ^ Waller, Robert; Criddle, Byron (1996). The Almanac of British Politics (5th ed.). London: Routledge. pp. xxx–xxxvi. ISBN 978-0-415-11805-7.