Home

LABOUR PARTY LEADERSHIP ELECTIONS 1922-2016

 

1922 21 November        
Parliamentary ballot MPs %        
Ramsay MacDonald 61 52.1        
John Clynes * 56 47.9        
             
             
1931 28 August        
Arthur Henderson Elected leader by PLP after being only candidate to enter contest
             
             
1932 25 October        
George Lansbury Elected leader by PLP after being only candidate to enter contest
             
             
1935 8 October        
Clement Attlee Elected leader by PLP after being only candidate to enter contest
             
1935 26 November 3 December    
Parliamentary ballot First ballot  Second ballot    
  MPs % MPs %    
Clement Attlee * 58 43.0 88 64.7    
Herbert Morrison 44 32.6 48 35.3    
Arthur Greenwood 33 24.4 - -    
             
             
1955 14 December        
Parliamentary ballot MPs %        
Hugh Gaitskell 157 58.8        
Aneurin Bevan 70 26.2        
Herbert Morrison 40 15.0        
             
             
1960 3 November        
Parliamentary ballot MPs %        
Hugh Gaitskell * 166 67.2        
Harold Wilson 81 32.8        
             
             
1961 2 November        
Parliamentary ballot MPs %        
Hugh Gaitskell * 171 74.3        
Anthony Greenwood 59 25.7        
             
             
1963 7 February 14 February    
Parliamentary ballot First ballot Second ballot    
  MPs % MPs %    
Harold Wilson 115 47.1 144 58.3    
George Brown 88 36.1 103 41.7    
James Callaghan 41 16.8 - -    
             
             
1976 25 March 30 March 3 April
Parliamentary ballot First ballot Second ballot Third ballot
  MPs % MPs % MPs %
James Callaghan 84 26.8 141 45.2 176 56.2
Michael Foot 90 28.7 133 42.6 137 43.8
Roy Jenkins 56 17.8 - - - -
Tony Benn 37 11.8 - - - -
Denis Healey 30 9.6 38 12.2 - -
Anthony Crosland 17 5.4 - - - -
             
             
1980 4 November 10 November    
Parliamentary ballot First ballot Second ballot    
  MPs % MPs %    
Michael Foot 83 31.3 139 51.9    
Denis Healey 112 42.3 129 48.1    
John Silkin 38 14.3 - -    
Peter Shore 32 12.1 - -    

 

1983       2 October      
Electoral college PLP (30%) CLPs (30%) Affiliates (40%) Total
  MPs % Block votes % Block votes % %
Neil Kinnock 100 49.3 571 91.5 4,389 72.6 71.3
Roy Hattersley 53 26.1 12 1.9 1,644 27.2 19.3
Eric Heffer 29 14.3 41 6.6 7 0.1 6.3
Peter Shore 21 10.3 0 0.0 5 0.1 3.1
               
               
1988       2 October      
Electoral college PLP (30%) CLPs (30%) Affiliates (40%) Total
  MPs % Block votes % Block votes % %
Neil Kinnock * 183 82.8 489 80.4 5,605 99.2 88.6
Tony Benn 38 17.2 119 19.6 48 0.8 11.4
               
               
1992       18 July      
Electoral college PLP/EPLP (30%) CLPs (30%) Affiliates (40%) Total
  MPs/MEPs % Block votes % Block votes % %
John Smith 229 77.1 597 98.0 4,822 96.3 91.0
Bryan Gould 68 22.9 12 2.0 187 3.7 9.0

 

1994   21 July  
Electoral college PLP/EPLP (1/3) Members (1/3) Affiliates (1/3) Total
  % % % %
Tony Blair 60.5 58.2 52.3 57.0
John Prescott 19.6 24.4 28.4 24.1
Margaret Beckett 19.9 17.4 19.3 18.9
Turnouts 98.8% 69.1% 19.5%  
         
         
2007   24 June  
Gordon Brown Declared leader after being only candidate to secure enough nominations

 

2010     25 September    
Electoral college PLP/EPLP (1/3) Members (1/3) Affiliates (1/3) Total
  Votes % Votes % Votes % %
First count              
Diane Abbott 7 2.6 9,314 7.3 25,938 12.3 7.4
Ed Balls 40 15.0 12,831 10.1 21,618 10.2 11.8
Andy Burnham 24 9.0 10,844 8.5 17,904 8.5 8.7
David Miliband 111 41.7 55,905 44.1 58,189 27.5 37.8
Ed Miliband 84 31.6 37,980 29.9 87,585 41.5 34.3
Total 266 100.0 126,874 100.0 211,234 100.0 100.0
               
EM lead -27 -10.2 -17,925 -14.1 +29,396 13.9 -3.5
               
               
Second count              
Ed Balls 41 15.5 14,510 11.5 26,441 12.7 13.2
Andy Burnham 24 9.1 12,498 9.9 25,528 12.2 10.4
David Miliband 111 42.0 57,128 45.2 61,336 29.4 38.9
Ed Miliband 88 33.3 42,176 33.4 95,335 45.7 37.5
Total 264 100.0 126,312 100.0 208,640 100.0 100.0
               
Non-transferable 2 (0.8) 562 (0.4) 2,594 (1.2) -
EM lead -23 -8.7 -14,952 -11.8 +33,999 +16.3 -1.4
               
               
Third count              
Ed Balls 43 16.3 18,114 14.5 35,512 17.3 16.0
David Miliband 125 47.3 60,375 48.2 66,889 32.6 42.7
Ed Miliband 96 36.4 46,697 37.3 102,882 50.1 41.3
Total 264 100.0 125,186 100.0 205,283 100.0 100.0
               
Non-transferable 2 (0.8) 1,688 (1.3) 5,951 (2.8) -
EM lead -29 -9.0 -13,678 -10.9 +35,993 +17.5 -1.5
               
               
Fourth count              
David Miliband 140 53.4 66,814 54.4 80,266 40.2 49.3
Ed Miliband 122 46.6 55,992 45.6 119,405 59.8 50.7
Total 262 100.0 122,806 100.0 199,671 100.0 100.0
               
Non-transferable 4 (1.5) 4,068 (3.2) 11,563 (5.5) -
EM lead -18 -6.9 -10,822 -8.8 +39,139 +19.6 +1.3
               
               
Turnouts PLP/EPLP 98.5% Members 71.7% Affiliates 9.0%  
               
               
               
2015   12 September  
  Full members Affiliated supporters Registered supporters Total
All-member ballot Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
Jeremy Corbyn 121,751 49.6 41,217 57.6 88,449 83.8 251,417 59.5
Andy Burnham 55,698 22.7 18,604 26.0 6,160 5.8 80,462 19.0
Yvette Cooper 54,470 22.2 9,043 12.6 8,415 8.0 71,928 17.0
Liz Kendall 13,601 5.5 2,682 3.7 2,574 2.4 18,857 4.5
Total 245,520 100.0 71,546 100.0 105,598 100.0 422,664 100.0
Turnout:
83.5%
48.5%
93.0%
76.3%
Eligible voters: 554,272
         
         
         
2016   24 September  
  Full members Affiliated supporters Registered supporters Total
All-member ballot Votes % Votes % Votes % Votes %
Jeremy Corbyn * 168,216 59.0 60,075 60.2 84,918 69.9 313,209 61.8
Owen Smith 116,960 41.0 39,670 39.8 36,599 30.1 193,229 38.2
Total 285,176 100.0 99,745 100.0 121,517 100.0 506,438 100.0
Turnout:       77.4%
Eligible voters: 654,006
 


Notes
Table includes elections where new leader elected or incumbent leader challenged. Annual re-elections of unchallenged incumbents in opposition excluded.

Parliamentary ballots (1955-80 contests): candidates needed majority of those voting to win (abstentions/spoilt ballots not included in total percentages). Exhaustive-ballot system.

Electoral college (1983-2010 contests): Parliamentary section includes only MPs from 1983-88, but MPs and MEPs from 1992-2010. CLP/members section used block voting from 1983-92 (balloting of members to determine how to cast block votes was voluntary from 1983-88 and compulsory in 1992) and pure OMOV from 1994-2010. Affiliates section consists mainly of trade unions, with some small socialist societies. It used block voting from 1983-92 and individual voting from 1994-2010. From 1983-92, CLPs and affiliates cast one block vote for every 1,000 members they affiliated. Figures in final column for 1983-2010 are percentages of votes in the college as a whole (weighted summation of three sections). Exhaustive-ballot system 1983-92; alternative-vote system 1994-2010. Detailed figures not available for 1994 contest. Nomination thresholds: 1983-88: 5% of Labour MPs; 1992: 20% of Labour MPs; 1994-2010: 12.5% of Labour MPs for vacant posts, 20% for challenges to incumbents.

All-member ballot (2015 contest): Individual party members, affiliated supporters and registered supporters entitled to vote, all votes equal in weight, no separate sections (except for the purposes of reporting the results). Affiliated supporters are trade unionists who already paid the political levy to their Labour-affiliated unions and signed up to vote, confirming their support for Labour's values. Registered supporters were members of the public paying a £3.00 fee and confirmed their support for Labour's values. Nomination threshold: 15% of Labour MPs for each candidate. Alternative-vote system.
2016: Same provisions as in 2015 except: £25.00 fee for registered supporters; 'freeze date' imposed on full members and affiliated supporters, requiring membership/signing up six months before contest started (January 2016); 20% nomination threshold for challenges to incumbent leaders; nomination threshold now extended to include MEPs, as well as MPs; NEC ruled that Corbyn, as incumbent, did not need to collect nominations (decision upheld in court). Contest followed unofficial confidence vote in Corbyn among Labour MPs, which Corbyn lost 172-40.

Nominations
2015: 35 MPs required: Burnham 68, Cooper 59, Kendall 41, Corbyn 36.
2016: Smith: 163 MPs and 10 MEPs.

* Incumbent

Sources: D. Butler and G. Butler, Twentieth-Century British Political Facts, 1900-2000 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2000), pp. 145-8 (this source provides incorrect figures for the 1960 contest; these have been corrected above); R. T. McKenzie, British Political Parties: The Distribution of Power within the Conservative and Labour Parties, 2nd ed. (London: Heinemann, 1964), pp. 355, 357, 360; H. Drucker, ‘Intra-party Democracy in Action: The Election of Leader and Deputy Leader by the Labour Party in 1983’, Parliamentary Affairs, 37:1 (1984), 283-300, p. 295; Report of the Eighty-Seventh Annual Conference of the Labour Party 1988, pp. 210, 218, 221; A. McSmith, John Smith: Playing the Long Game (London: Verso, 1993), p. 211; K. Alderman and N. Carter, ‘The Labour Party Leadership and Deputy Leadership Elections of 1994’, Parliamentary Affairs, 48:3 (1995), 438-55, pp. 448-9; T. Heppell, Choosing the Labour Leader: Labour Party Leadership Elections from Wilson to Brown (London: IB Tauris, 2010), p. 188; Labour Party, ‘Summary of voting by round’.; BBC, 'Labour leadership results in full', BBC News, 12 September 2015, available at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-34221155; Labour Party, Labour leadership results 2016', 24 September 2016, available at <www.labour.org.uk/pages/labour-leadership-results-2016>.


Top