Elections to the Labour Party'sShadow Cabinet took place in July 1996. Under the rules then in effect, the Commons members of the Parliamentary Labour Party elected 19 members of the Official Opposition Shadow Cabinet, who were then assigned portfolios by the leader. The Labour peers elected the Leader of the Opposition in the House of Lords. In addition, the Leader of the Labour Party and Deputy Leader (Tony Blair and John Prescott, respectively) were members by virtue of those offices. The 19 elected members of the Shadow Cabinet were the ones with the largest number of votes. MPs were required to vote for at least four women, but women were not necessarily guaranteed places in the Shadow Cabinet.