The result was that Thatcher achieved a higher number of votes (204) to Heseltine’s 152, but she was 4 votes short of the required 15% margin for outright victory. Although Thatcher declared initially that she would fight on in a second round, she later withdrew from the contest, opening up the way for John Major to win the leadership. He beat Michael Heseltine and Douglas Hurd, in the second round ballot.
It emerged afterwards in Alan Clark’s Diaries that Thatcher’s campaign manager, Peter Morrison, had been literally asleep on the job of gathering votes for Margaret Thatcher.
If Morrison had persuaded just two MPs to change their vote in Thatcher’s favour, or four abstainers to vote for Thatcher, she would have seen off the challenge. Instead, it was to be the end of Thatcher’s premiership - undefeated in three general elections, but brought down by a narrow shortfall in support within her own party. Peter Morrison, who died in 1995, probably has a lot to answer for.