THE deputy leader of the Conservative group, Tim Pollard, is looking odds-on to succeed Mike Fisher.
Cllr Pollard is emerging as the only candidate for the Tory leadership and has already received pledges of support from 18 colleagues, including the eight members of the shadow cabinet.
Assuming he votes for himself, he stands to pick up 19 votes if a formal election takes place at the group meeting being held next Saturday (September 20) - three more than he needs to win a majority from the 30-strong group.
Cllr Pollard said on Wednesday: "A large number of my colleagues have asked me to stand and I am enormously grateful for their support and trust.
"The last week has not been an easy one for the Conservative Party in Croydon, but there is a real sense of unity in the group and a desire to come out of this stronger and more focused that ever before."
Pledging her support for Cllr Pollard, former cabinet colleague, Councillor Sara Bashford said: "We have gone from being the controlling group in the council to being the opposition and that requires us to rethink our approach.
"I believe that Tim has the vision and leadership skills to help us make that transition and then to lead us to a local election victory in 2018."
Cllr Pollard was first elected to the council for Sanderstead ward in 2002 and was elected one of two deputy leaders of the council in May 2008.
He has also served as cabinet member for regeneration and economic development and for children, families and learning.