Former Shellharbour mayor Kellie Marsh was rolled in the vote for the top job after a surprise challenge from fellow Liberal Paul Rankin at last night's council meeting.
She was supported for mayor by fellow Labor councillors John Murray and David Boyle, as well as independent Peter Moran.
Independent Helen Stewart voted for Cr Rankin, which meant Cr Marsh was left without support in the chamber after only 12 months in the mayor's position.
The political fight between the Liberal councillors also extended to the job of deputy mayor.
Cr Rankin was elected to the position by a 5-2 majority with support from all three Labor councillors and Cr Stewart.
Mayor Marianne Saliba thanked her fellow councillors for their show of confidence.
"I've got to thank [Cr Marsh] because she lead the path for the direction in which the council is moving smoothly along," she said.
"My commitment to my fellow councillors and the city is I will continue to work with them cooperatively to ensure we get the best outcomes for the city."
Cr Rankin said he felt "relieved" to be elected deputy mayor.
"Kellie has done a really good job but I think it's time that we need to look at different people with different skill sets,'' he said.
"Kellie was not going to get the vote or the support from Cr Stewart so, as a Liberal, I decided that I'd stick my hand up to get the Liberal vote and keep the Libs at least in deputy mayor."