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Balls' blogs and Ed's tweets reveal the heat of Labour leadership campaign

Len Tingle | 12:13 UK time, Monday, 26 July 2010

Ed Miliband

On Saturday morning Shadow Energy Secretary Ed Miliband was on the train from his Doncaster constituency to Leeds.

He was heading for the latest in a debate with the other four contenders in the campaign for the leadership of the Labour Party.

I know that because he tweeted about his journey.

"Packed with teenagers going to party in the park. Some get their kicks from concerts, we make do w. hustings!" he posted at 10.38am on his Ed_Miliband Twitter site.

Strangely, he did not tweet later in the day about how the hustings had gone even though he must have felt like singing.

As the debate went on the political committee of Unite, the UK's biggest trade union, announced that it was backing Ed Miliband.

He already has Unison and the GMB in the bag.

It was interpreted by Sunday's papers as a snub to the other Yorkshire contender Ed Balls.

Within 24 hours his "Ed Balls for Labour leader blog" had the Morley and Outwood MP denying rumours that he was thinking of pulling out of the fight.

"I joined this contest because I believed this was a fight worth fighting for the future of our party and our country, I still do," he blogs.

The Unions will play a big part in the electoral college system of voting which the Labour Party uses to choose its leader.

So far Ed Balls has the backing of the Communication Workers Union.

When the electoral college meets on the first day of the Labour Party Conference in September a third of the votes will be cast by unions. Another third are in the hands of the Labour branches who are holding their individual ballots. The final third will come from the Parliamentary Labour group.

The bookies' favourite is still the former Foreign Secretary - Ed's big brother David Miliband.

Left winger Diane Abbott and the former health secretary Andy Burnham, the other two contenders, have the longest odds.

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