Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1980
The 1980 Labour Party leadership election was held following the resignation of James Callaghan. Callaghan had been Prime Minister from 1976 to 1979 and had stayed on as leader of the Labour Party for eighteen months in order to oversee an orderly transition to his favoured successor, Denis Healey over his own deputy Michael Foot. However, during this period the party had become bogged down in internal arguments about its procedures and future direction.
Initially, the candidates were thought likely to be Denis Healey, Peter Shore and John Silkin, but Michael Foot was persuaded to stand by left-wingers who believed that only he could defeat Healey. In the event, Foot won by a margin of 10 votes in the final ballot of MPs.
- Michael Foot, incumbent Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Member of Parliament for Ebbw Vale
- Denis Healey, Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, Member of Parliament for Leeds East
- Peter Shore, Shadow Foreign Secretary, Member of Parliament for Stepney and Poplar
- John Silkin, Shadow Leader of the House of Commons, Member of Parliament for Lewisham Deptford
The result of the first ballot of Labour MPs on 4 November was as follows:
|First ballot: 4 November 1980|
|Second ballot required|
In the second ballot, held six days later, there was a run-off between Healey and Foot.
|Second ballot: 10 November 1980|
|Michael Foot elected|
This was the last leadership election to be conducted amongst Members of Parliament only, an electoral college was introduced for future contests.
- Crewe, Ivor; King, Anthony (1995). SDP: The Birth, Life and Death of the Social Democratic Party. New York: Oxford University Press. p. 73. Retrieved 6 April 2015 – via Questia. (Subscription required (help)).
- Butler, David; Butler, Gareth (2000), Twentieth-Century British Political Facts 1900–2000 (8th ed.), Macmillan Press
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