The acting leader of Horsham District Council Mr Ray Dawe is set to be confirmed in that position following a secret ballot by his colleagues on Monday night (January 23).
The council will endorse the decision at its meeting on February 22 - but that vote will merely be a formality.
The vacancy for leader occurred following the shock resignation of Robert Nye just before Christmas. He quit after his business hit financial difficulties.
Monday night’s vote came after an intense battle within the group to choose a back bench councillor, Christian Mitchell, as the new leader.
But Mr Dawe, who had been deputy leader under Mr Nye, secured a majority of the votes.
For full analysis of the decision and its implications for unity among Conservative councillors and the future of the Broadbridge Heath Leisure Centre, read this Thursday’s County Times newspaper.