Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1994

Labour Party (UK) Leadership Election, 1994

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Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1994

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A leadership election was held on 21 July 1994 for the Labour Party in the United Kingdom, after the sudden death of incumbent leader John Smith. With the unpopularity of John Major's Conservative Party, particularly following Black Wednesday and a number of sleaze scandals, many believed that the 1994 election would ultimately decide not only Labour's new leader, but also the next Prime Minister. 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 only female Labour MP ever to stand for the leadership of the Party (and remained so until Diane Abbott announced her candidacy on 20th May 2010). 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. 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 in the 1992 deputy leadership election and lost to Beckett, stood again for both Leader and Deputy Leader.

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