Conservatives look certain to lose control of West Norfolk council if opposition parties can cut a coalition deal.

Before the election, the Conservatives held 29 seats, the Independent Group 14, Labour nine and there were three further non-aligned independents, 2 Liberal Democrats and one Green.

Tories lost eight leaving them on 21, the independents on 18, Labour on 11, the Lib Dems on three and the Greens two. 

Conservative leader Stuart Dark said: "Looking at the national picture and the results coming in across Norfolk, we knew it was going to be hard.

"We're still the biggest single party and I think we can be proud of our record over a very difficult four years for West Norfolk.

Eastern Daily Press: Stuart Dark, leader of the Conservatives on West Norfolk councilStuart Dark, leader of the Conservatives on West Norfolk council (Image: Chris Bishop)

"But it's quite clear the national situation has had an impact locally. I'm a keen believer in democracy and the public has spoken." 

Big scalps included Graham Middleton, the council's deputy leader and Lord Howard of Rising.

Former Conservative Alistair Bales was elected for Massingham as an independent.

Eastern Daily Press: Alistair Beales, who was elected as an IndependentAlistair Beales, who was elected as an Independent (Image: Chris Bishop)

Rival parties said coalition talks were now on the agenda, adding it would be some days before the picture became clear over how far they might be prepared to cooperate to form an administration.

Terry Parish, leader of the Independent Group said: "It's under discussion, nudge nudge, wink wink.

"We would be silly not to talk cooperatively with the other groups."

Eastern Daily Press: Pallavi Devulapalli, who was elected as a Green councillor for Airfield wardPallavi Devulapalli, who was elected as a Green councillor for Airfield ward (Image: Chris Bishop)

Labour leader Charles Joyce said: "I have to inform Labour Party head office and ask whether I can go into negotiations or whether I can't.

"They want to know by Monday to give us an answer by Tuesday."  

The Conservatives have controlled the council since 2003.