The political campaign to succeed Sir Albert Bore as leader of Birmingham City Council begins on Tuesday.
One councillor, John Clancy, has firmly declared his intention to stand. Three more - deputy leader Ian Ward, scrutiny committee chairman Majid Mahmood and cabinet member Lisa Trickett have been privately soliciting support for a bid.
Further contenders from the group of 78 councillors may enter the fray. Possibles include cabinet members Penny Holbrook and Shafique Shah.
John Clancy (Quinton - first elected 2002): Has challenged Sir Albert on four occasions since 2011 and got nearly 40 per cent of the vote in May.
Although always campaigning, formally launched his latest bid with an email to colleagues calling on them to remove Bore and Ward. Has a head-start while rivals are still organising.
Has written a book on using council pension funds to back local business and build housing.
Ian Ward (Shard End - first elected 1995) : The current deputy leader. Looked like leader in waiting when he opened the Library of Birmingham in 2013.
But his relationships with Sir Albert has become strained. He allegedly considered a leadership challenge in May only to withdraw disappointing colleagues. But has been consistently elected deputy leader of the group for the last decade and could continue until May under the new leader.
Majid Mahmood (Hodge Hill, first elected 2011): A solicitor and current chairman of the health scrutiny committee - an elected position whch demonstrates he has support among the Labour group. His is very ambitious, and was famously slapped down by Bore for negotiating a council sponsorship deal with Warwickshire Criciket Club without the leaders' approval.
He was a huge cheerleader for Jeremy Corbyn during the Labour leadership election.
Lisa Trickett (Moseley and Kings Heath - first elected 2012) A former housing department official. Councillor Trickett is a member of the current cabinet with a major interest in green issues.
She was the person Sir Albert turned to when the bins department was in trouble over the 'Garden Tax' and wheelie bins rollout. Rumoured to be looking at a congestion charge to solve the city's traffic and transport problems.
Penny Holbrook (Stockland Green - first elected 2003): Cabinet member for culture and skills and has dealt well with difficult job of fronting cuts to the Library of Birmingham. She was viewed as a success as chairwoman of the Erdington District Committee.
Highly spoken of by many colleagues, but we are not aware of any pitch to colleagues.
Shafique Shah (Bordesley Green - first elected 2005): Has a small following which Sir Albert has sought to exploit by bringing him into the cabinet in the middle of the crisis.
The former Lord Mayor known to be ambitious but colleagues are divided over whether his decision to join cabinet in the middle of the recent crisis was the right one.