Ed Balls has emerged as the favourite to lead the Labour Party among West Midlands MPs.
The Shadow Education Secretary has won the backing of more Labour MPs in the region than any of his rivals, with Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband in second place.
But Ed Miliband, the Shadow Energy Secretary, has failed to win support in the region – despite being a top contender for the job.
The battle for the heart and soul of the Labour Party is set to run for months, with a winner announced at the party conference in Manchester on September 25.
Each potential candidate needs 33 MPs to sign their nomination papers to take part in the battle, and so far Mr Balls and the two Miliband brothers have managed to win the support needed.
The other candidates, Shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham and left-wing backbenchers John McDonnell and Diane Abbott, appear to be struggling to get the required signatures.
Supporters of Mr Balls include Ian Austin (Dudley North), Jim Cunningham (Coventry South), Khalid Mahmood (Birmingham Perry Barr), Steve McCabe (Birmingham Selly Oak), Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West), Tom Watson (West Bromwich East) and David Wright (Telford).
West Midlands MPs backing David Miliband include Bob Ainsworth (Coventry North East), Tristam Hunt (Stoke on Trent Central), Pat McFadden (Wolverhampton South East) and Valerie Vaz (Walsall South).
Mr McFadden said: “We have a strong field of candidates but for me what gives David the edge is his ability to look at what the role of Labour should be in the 21st century.
“If you look at the leadership debates so far, there has been a lot of talk about what we got right or wrong in the past and that’s fair enough but it is not what’s going to decide elections.”
Those who have agreed to support Mr Burnham include Paul Farrelly (Newcastle-Under-Lyme) and Rob Flello (Stoke on Trent South) - but Mr Flello said he had not made up his mind who he would eventually vote for.
He said: “I am nominating Andy Burnham because I wanted as many people on the ballot paper as possible. It is very good for the ego of the candidates when they get a lot of nominations but it’s not so good for democracy if all the nominations go to one or two people.
“I haven’t decided for certain who I will be voting for, but I believe what we need is a leader who will bring the party back together following a horrendous defeat.”
No West Midlands MPs have so far come out in support of Ed Miliband, but he has 45 nominations, confirming he will be able to take part in the leadership contest.
Mr Burnham is on 17, with Mr McDonnell on seven and Ms Abbott just one.
With nominations due to close on June 9, the battle to replace Gordon Brown looks increasingly likely to be a three-horse race.
David Miliband’s campaign for the Labour leadership received a major boost when shadow Chancellor Alistair Darling threw his weightbehind the bid.