/* New Labour */ most opinion polls showed the parties neck-and-neck
The term New Labour didn't come into being until Tony Blair became leader in 1994, but the reform of the Labour Party took place long before then. By 1992, it was clear that Thatcher's reforms had struck a chord with voters and the Labour party were no longer promising to renationalise industries or restore trade union powers. Only the top rate of income tax would be raised from 40 to 50%.
All the opinion polls showed a likely Labour victory, but a close election led to an unusually high voter turnout, and the Conservative party won by a narrow victory of 23 seats.
John Smith became leader in 1992, but his sudden death in 1994 led to Tony Blair to become leader and the term New Labour was born. Blair started by reforming Clause IV. (Clause IV dealt with the purpose of the Party and referred direct to its erstwhile desire for public ownership of the means of production; the current version instead calls for 'a community in which power, wealth and opportunity are in the hands of the many, not the few'.) Blair also promised no increases in income tax and pledged to run a stable economy. They were elected in a landslide in 1997, and again in 2001.