Labour Party (UK) leadership election, 1992

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Labour Party (UK) leadership election
← 1988 18 July 1992 (1992-07-18) 1994 →
  No image.svg Bryan Gould in 1992
Candidate John Smith Bryan Gould
Affiliated 38.5% 1.5%
Constituency 29.4% 0.6%
Parliamentary 23.1% 6.9%
Total 91.1% 9.0%

Leader before election

Neil Kinnock

Elected Leader

John Smith

The Labour Party leadership election of 1992 followed the Labour Party's failure to win the 1992 general election and the subsequent resignation of party leader Neil Kinnock.

There were only two candidates in the election, with John Smith always the clear favourite to win.[1] The ballot took place on 18 July 1992. Affiliated organisations had 40% of the vote, while Constituency Labour Parties and the Parliamentary Labour Party had 30% each in the electoral college. Gordon Brown and Robin Cook were both seen as potential candidates, but did not stand.

John Smith was elected in a landslide victory with 91% of the vote.



First round[2]
Candidate Affiliated block votes
CLP block votes
PLP votes
Votes  % Votes  % Votes  %  %
John Smith 4,822 38.5% 597 29.4% 229 23.1% 91.1%
Bryan Gould 187 1.5% 12 0.6% 68 6.9% 9.0%

John Smith was elected leader of the Labour Party with a clear majority.

Shortly after Black Wednesday in September 1992, Labour's lead in the opinion polls began to rise. By the time of his sudden death, Smith was widely predicted and expected to become prime minister at the next general election.

In the event, he would only serve two years before his death, which precipitated another leadership election.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "A Plea for Bloodshed". The Economist. 18 April 1992. p. 64. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Under the rules at the time of the contest, block votes were cast by delegates and the Parliamentary Party at Labour Party Conference. Affiliated Unions held 40% of the votes, CLPs 30% and the PLP 30%.