|Conservative Party (UK) leadership election, 1984|
|1975 ← October 31 1984 - November 7 1984 1988 →|
|Candidate||Michael Heseltine||Keith Joseph||Douglas Hurd|
|Seat||Henley||Leeds North East||Witney|
|Incumbent Leader||Subsequent Leader|
The 1984 leadership election within the British Conservative Party was held on October 31 and November 7 1984.
Shortly after Margaret Thatcher's assassination a leadership election was announced for October 31 1984. Because she had been the Prime Minister, the election was held promptly.
The candidates were-
Michael Heseltine was the Defense Secretary at the time. He was known for being a consistent critic of Thatcher, although he did support the Right to Buy scheme and had recently overseen Britain's nuclear weapons programme. He announced his intention to stand on October 19. Although he held Pro-European views, against the common stance of the party, his campaign emphasised his popularity with Anti-Thatcher voters
- Keith Joseph
Keith Joseph was Education and Science Secretary and had been seen as a leadership candidate in the previous leadership election in 1975 but had ruled himself out after controversial remarks on poor people. He announced his candidacy on October 21, and ran on a Pro-Thatcher platform.
Douglas Hurd was Northern Irish Secretary and had experienced recent diplomatic success in the troubled region. He decided to stand on October 23. Like Heseltine, he was also Pro-European but less critical of Thatcher.
Other high-profile figures such as Geoffrey Howe and Ian Gilmour were seen as potential candidates but declined to stand.
The election was held on an exhaustive ballot. Because there were three candidates, there would be two ballots and more if there was not a majority of at least 15% on the second one. Only Conservative MPs could vote.
|First round: October 31 1984|
|Douglas Hurd eliminated|
Douglas Hurd was eliminated. He then backed Michael Heseltine.
|Second round: November 7 1984|
|Michael Heseltine elected|
William Whitelaw, who had been temporary Prime Minister since Margaret Thatcher's assassination resigned shortly after the election. Michael Heseltine was then sworn in by Queen Elizabeth II as the new Prime Minister.