The Conservatives could lose control of Dudley Council following the defection of a long-standing Tory to Labour.
Mike Attwood’s move now means Labour has 36 members on the authority to the Conservatives’ 35.
The Norton ward councillor’s defection now leaves the decision on who runs the council with Mayor Dave Tyler.
Explaining his defection, Cllr Attwood said he had become involved in the council through community work when his local Stourbridge Conservative group were not interested.
He added: “A lot of the people I know are in the Labour group and do similar work for green spaces and community, so it seemed the thing to do because I was being pushed out from Stourbridge Conservatives.”
Labour leader Cllr Pete Lowe says his party will now move a motion of no confidence in the Conservative leader of the council Patrick Harley.
The defection is the latest move in the see-saw politics of the authority where control has swung back and forth over the past two years.
At May’s elections the Conservatives managed to win six UKIP seats to make them level pegging with Labour’s 35 members.
But with the defection of the last UKIP councillor on the authority to the Conservatives and the support of an independent they were able to take control.
With the support of the only independent councillor, Heather Rogers, the Conservatives and Labour both have 36 votes, leaving political control on a knife edge.
Labour leader Cllr Pete Lowe said whoever took control now rested with the mayor, Cllr Dave Tyler, who has a casting vote.
Cllr Lowe said: “The mayor has said in the past that he would use his casting vote in favour of the largest political group. With 36 members we are now the biggest group so we will be testing his resolve on this.”
Under council rules the first opportunity to hold a vote of no confidence will be at a full council meeting in October.