The fight to take control of North Lanarkshire Council could be decided by the turn of a playing card.
Labour group leader Jim Logue has followed his SNP counterpart David Stocks in ruling out a coalition with the Conservatives.
Councillor Logue said: “There is absolutely no intention to establish a formal coalition agreement with any party.
“Labour is committed to forming a minority administration to build on our impressive track record in North Lanarkshire and asking all councillors to support that.”
It is understood Independent councillor Alan Beveridge will back Labour’s bid for power at the first full meeting of the council on Thursday, guaranteeing Labour and the SNP 33 votes each to run the administration.
Should the 10 Tories refuse to support either side, as Independent councillor Robert McKendrick plans to do, then chief executive Paul Jukes will suspend the meeting.
After being given a week to sort out a deal to break the deadlock councillors will return to the chamber on Thursday, May 25, to vote again.
If the vote is tied for a second time then a deck of cards will be cut to determine who runs the administration, just as happened in 1988 at Cumbernauld District Council and on two occasions at Stirling District Council.
Councillor Stocks doesn’t believe it will go that far though and that Labour will ultimately do a deal with the Tories.
He said: “Councillor Logue will now depend on the Tories. There will be a price to pay and it is the most vulnerable in North Lanarkshire who will pay that price.”