Tony Blair promised Labour MPs "a stable and orderly transition" to a new leader when he met them in private.
But a threatened major rebellion failed to materialise, as the Parliamentary Labour Party threw its backing behind the Prime Minister.
Dissidents had threatened to demand Mr Blair's resignation at a meeting between Mr Blair and his MPs.
But in the event, only "five or six" spoke up against the Labour leader, according to one MP. These were shouted down or "groaned down" by colleagues making their disagreement clear, the MP said.
Wolverhampton North East MP Ken Purchase, previously an aide to Robin Cook, one of Mr Blair's critics, said there was no desire for revolution.
He said: "Everyone who appeared to say Tony Blair was less than perfect got shouted down."
Mr Blair told Labour MPs a fourth term in power was within their grasp if they remained united around his centre left agenda.
A Labour Party official said Mr Blair had told MPs "that at the next election there would be a different leadership".
Mr Blair told them that he understood the need for "a stable and orderly transition to that leadership, but that people should give him the space to ensure that happens".
The Prime Minister told MPs and peers: "We won from a centre left position and I'm absolutely convinced we have got to stay there."
He added: "Our fourth victory will be under different leadership but we have to remain united until then.
Ministers were delighted at Mr Blair's performance. One emerged to say simply: "Whingers routed!"
Defence Secretary John Reid said: "It was a great meeting."