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Thursday, February 18, 1999 Published at 15:54 GMT

UK Politics

Morgan wins MSF vote

The MSF voted 75% to 25% in favour of Rhodri Morgan

The Manufacturing, Science and Finance workers union has voted to support Rhodri Morgan in the Welsh Labour leadership bout with three-quarters of members backing the left-wing backbencher.

Welsh labour leadership contest
The individual ballot followed the three to one pattern in Mr Morgan's favour in opinion polls and union ballots since the contest begun.

[ image: Rhodri Morgan: Has backing of party members]
Rhodri Morgan: Has backing of party members
Despite this, the other candidate - Welsh Secretary Alun Michael - may well still win on Saturday as he has secured backing from unions who made their decisions after balloting only a small number of delegates.

The final choice will be made by an electoral college composed of politicians, unions and party members.

Mr Michael should have the votes of the majority of Welsh Labour MPs, Euro-MPs and prospective assembly candidates.

On the other side, Mr Morgan is set to clinch the overwhelming support of the 25,000 party faithful who are irked by Downing Street's apparent determination to thrust the Welsh secretary upon them.

[ image: Alun Michael: Still likely to win with union block votes]
Alun Michael: Still likely to win with union block votes
The MSF union voted 75% for Mr Morgan, with 25% for Tony Blair's preferred candidate to lead the Labour group in the Welsh Assembly and in all probability go on to become the first secretary.

The crucial union test in the leadership race comes on the eve of the voting result when the fourth biggest union, the GMB, announce which candidate they are backing.

The Labour Party in Wales will also begin counting votes from party members ahead of the final announcement.

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