COUNTY Hall leader Cllr Paul Findlow (Con) faces an anxious seven days before he discovers if he is still in power.
The crucial by-election, which could dramatically change control at County Hall, takes place on Thursday, September 27.
It follows the death of County Cllr John Burke, (Con), who represented Chester district’s Gowy division.
His death meant Cllr Findlow lost his knife-edge single vote majority at County Hall.
The Tories now have 25 votes, the same as the combined forces of the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups plus the sole Independent.
If they were to lose their grip on Gowy, normally a safe Tory seat, the political complexion at County Hall would be overthrown.
The Tories regained the authority after 20 years in the wilderness in 2001.
Labour candidate Mark Green, a former parliamentary challenger and chairman of the Eddisbury constituency Labour Party, said: ‘It’s not often that your vote could change control of the council but it could do so on September 27.’
Working hard to ensure the Tories cling to power is candidate Cllr Eleanor Johnson, the Conservative city councillor for Barrow and a former city sheriff.
The Lib Dems are fielding Kelsall City Cllr Andrew Garman who was runner-up to the Tories in the last county council elections in 2005.
The fourth candidate is John Moore, standing for the UK Independence Party.
However although the groups have previously formed alliances to take power at both County Hall and the Town Hall, the emergence of separate candidates dampened speculation about a possible compromise to challenge the Tory majority.