The next Leader of the Council will be chosen by the Conservative Group of councillors behind closed doors. This, in a nutshell, is why I support the directly elected mayor method.
The Leader has the power to choose his/her cabinet. In Tunbridge Wells there is a vacancy arising from the departure from the council of Brian Ransley, courtesy of the sensible electorate in Capel. Will the new Leader be tempted to make changes in cabinet personnel? The former Leader had a partial clear out on his appointment.
The press reports that the acting leader, councillor David Jukes, is standing for Leader. Will he be opposed? In the event of an election, I imagine current cabinet members will be seeking reassurance from the candidates that their cabinet post is safe and aspiring cabinet members will be trying to work out whom to vote for to secure a cabinet position.
The local press has been having fun identifying potential candidates. What has not happened is to invite members of the Conservative Association to express an opinion, never mind the wider electorate.
I know whom I would support, but to name the person would probably be the kiss of death for their chances of success.