The 1990 Labour Party leadership election was held following the resignation of Denis Healey. This was the last leadership contest held under the old rules.
Denis Healey had suceeded Callaghan as labour party leader in 1983, he was already 66 years old and was seen as an interim leader who would meerly lead labour to an election victory then step down for a younger figure. After leading labour to reelection in 1987 - but with a significantly reduced majority - Healey's leadership was challenged by those on both the left and right of the party.
Neil Kinnock - Defence Secretary, a figure on the soft left of the party
David Owen - Foreign Secretary, a leader of the hard right of the party
John Smith - Chancellor of the Exchequer, although a figure of the Gaitskellite Right he positioned himself as a centrist figure
Roy Hattersley - Home Secretary, considered the candidate most closely associated with the views of Healey
John Prescott - Transport Secretary, the candidate most associated with the Trade Unions, considered nominally on the left
Michael Meacher -Social Security Secretary, the most left wing candidate
Meacher was eliminated.
Hattersley was eliminated.
Prescott was eliminated. Smith overtook Kinnock as the frontrunner.
Smith won on the fifth ballot, with a convincing majority.
Kinnock hoped to become Chancellor under Smith, but was passed over in favour of his own campaign manager Bryan Gould. Smith offered cabinet posts to all of his leadership rivals, Owen and Hattersley refused and returned to the backbenches, Kinnock, Prescott and Meacher accepted.
Immideiatly after Smith's election as leader Labour gained a significant poll bounce, and by November they had overtaken the Tories.
Smith's death in 1994 precipitated another leadership election.