Two winners of the 1979 election were not re-elected: Healey was elected Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, so did not need to run for election to the Shadow Cabinet. David Owen did not return. He informed Michael Foot of his decision not to run in November, after the PLP rejected "one member, one vote" and it became clearer to him that he would be defecting. Not long afterward, he joined William Rodgers (who did win a seat in the Shadow Cabinet), Shirley Williams, and Roy Jenkins in founding the Social Democratic Party. Because of Rodgers's defection, Tony Benn joined the Shadow Cabinet in January 1981 by virtue of being the top loser.
The 12 winners of the election are listed below: