Diane Abbott and Andy Burnham, who both launched their campaigns to be leader of the Labour Party on the same day, have successfully been nominated on the same day, meaning that five out of the six original candidates for the post will now face a ballot of the wider party.

While Mr Burnham looked like he would probably secure the required nominations from 33 Labour MPs (although it he did appear to be struggling earlier in the campaign), the real surprise was that Ms Abbott survived the nomination process.

She was helped by John McDonnell, who also ran but pulled out of the race this morning. He did so saying that he wanted the 16 MPs supporting him to back Abbott instead so that he could "at least secure a woman on the ballot paper".

Mr McDonnell then proceeded to give his nomination to Ms Abbott, as did many of his supporters, such as Kate Hoey and Jeremy Corbyn.

However not all of his backers were happy to go over to Ms Abbott. Frank Field, who was recently appointed as a "poverty tsar" by the new coalition government, despite being an opposition MP, decided to switch from supporting Mr McDonnell to Ed Miliband.

David Miliband, who is currently leading the race with 81 nominations, also nominated Ms Abbott. Mr Miliband was criticised for taking more than double the number of nominations required, as it made it harder for other candidates to get nominations.

In response he said he could not control who MPs nominated but said that should a candidate have 32 nominations he would nominate them himself to allow them to stand, something he appears to have done for Ms Abbott.

This morning Andy Burnham was only two nominations short of the required number of nominations, but his campaign team said that they were on track to secure nomination, which indeed was the case.

Now that nominations by MPs have been completed the candidates will be able to receive "supporting nominations" from Labour MEPs, local associations and trade unions.

While the supporting nominations have no direct bearing on the final result they can indicate the strength and give an impression of momentum to a candidates campaign.

Over the summer the five candidates will take place in various hustings events around the country before the ballot is opened to the wider Labour Party from 23 August to 22 September. The final result will be announced at the Labour Party conference on 25 September.

The candidates have the following nominations from MPs:

David Miliband: 81

Ed Miliband: 63

Diane Abbott: 33

Ed Balls: 33

Andy Burnham: 33