Hopefuls looking to become the next leader of the Labour Party have until tomorrow to secure the 33 nominations from their fellow Labour MPs, if they are to run in the race proper in which their names will be put before the wider party.

Currently only three out of the six declared candidates have secured the required number of nominations, despite a hustings held yesterday in which candidates could put their case to the Parliamentary Labour Party.

Former Foreign Secretary David Miliband is currently leading the race with 63 nominations, nearly double what he needs. His brother Ed Miliband, former Energy and Climate Change Secretary has 49 nominations, while former Minister for Children, Schools and Families, Ed Balls has exactly 33 nominations.

Andy Burnham, the former Minister for Health, appears to be struggling to get the required nominations, but may just make it. He currently has 23 supporters, among them David Blunkett, who served as Home Secretary under Tony Blair and former Communities minister Hazel Blears.

John McDonnell currently has 10 nominations and seems unlikely to gather enough support. He has criticised the rules of the contest requiring 33 nominations (12.5 per cent of the Parliamentary Labour Party), saying that they favour the big name candidates.

Yesterday Mr McDonnell also raised eyebrows after he told a meeting of trade unionists that he would like to go back in time to the 1980's and assassinate former Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

In last place is Diane Abbott with eight nominations. She has also criticised the rules for selecting candidates saying in a recent article in the Times that had US President Barack Obama been required to go through a similar procedure he would not have got anywhere near the presidency.

Once nominations from the Parliamentary Labour Party close tomorrow, those candidates with enough support will be able to receive supporting nominations from local Labour parties, Labour MEPs and other stakeholders in the party.

The supporting nominations are not needed by the remaining candidates, however they are an indicator of the strength of support enjoyed by a candidate and can be used to help build up momentum in a candidates favour.

The remaining candidates will go through a series of hustings over the summer before a final ballot which will be held from 16 August to 22 September. The winner will be announced on 25 September at the Labour Party conference.