Labour surrendered overall control of Wolverhampton City Council after 13 years at the helm as they lost eight seats in the city in Thursday's elections.
The Conservatives gained seven seats on the council with the other seat going to the Liberal Democrats.
It was a disastrous poll for Labour with the party blaming national issues for the major turnaround. They now have just one more seat on the council than the Conservatives with the Liberal Democrats holding the upper hand with their five seats.
The new council line-up in Wolverhampton is Labour 28, Conservatives 27 and the Liberal Democrats five.
Councillor Roger Lawrence, who led the council for Labour, said they had been punished badly by decisions made in Downing Street. "We have been working hard for the party and for Wolverhampton but we have been hit by what has been happening nationally," he said.
"It's very disappointing."
The Labour casualties included Phil Bateman who lost his seat to the Tories in Wednesfield North. Patricia Byrne also bowed out for Labour in the East Park ward having represented voters in the area for the last 25 years.
Coun Neville Patten. the leader of the Tories, admitted he was delighted with their resounding success in the elections at Wolverhampton. He said he would be seeking the role as the new leader of the city council and made a promise the party would be working hard to curb council tax rises and also invest in social services.
"The people of Wolverhampton are fed up of Labour on issues like fuel prices and the fiasco over the 10p tax rate," he said.
"They say they have taken people out of poverty but that is simply not true. People on the doorstep have been angry with the Labour Party and now at long last we can be rid of them in Wolverhampton."
He added: "They have already lost control. I can't discuss anything about possible coalitions with the Liberal Democrats until after both parties have had their annual general meetings on Tuesday. But we can still get together with the Lib Dems at any time to vote out Labour's plans.''
Coun Lawrence conceded he may well not be in charge of the council by the end of their next full meeting on May 14. "It is now a hung council but I will remain leader until the end of the next meeting when the leader is chosen. Our losses were at the top end of my fears but these things happen – that's politics."
He said he was particularly saddened by the fact they had lost a number of good councillors who had worked hard over the years for the city and concluded: "This was not of their asking – they have lost because of other things that have been going on."