The Liberal Democrats have held on to a seat in a north Norfolk by-election. 

Briston ward went to the polls on Thursday, with the leading party at North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) securing a majority. 

Lib Dem Andrew Fletcher was elected with 342 votes, 68 more than his nearest rival, the Conservative Jolanda Stenton. 

James Whitehead of the Green Party took 64 votes and Labour’s Phil Harris 15. 

The turnout was 33.62pc, a surprisingly high result for a by-election and not much lower than the full council election in May, which saw 35.03pc of the electors take to the polls. 

The vote was held following the resignation of Lib Dem Emma Coleman, who stood down due to ill health in October. 

Mr Fletcher, previously stood for the party in the Bacton ward in May. He lost out to the Conservatives by 54 votes.  

Ms Stenton was formerly a councillor for Briston between 2019 and 2023 and stood again in the summer. 

She was initially elected as a Lib Dem but defected to the Tories in November 2020. 

During her recent campaigning activities, she saw support from the local Conservative MP Duncan Baker. 

Eastern Daily Press: Tim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District CouncilTim Adams, leader of North Norfolk District Council (Image: North Norfolk Council)

Tim Adams, leader of NNDC, said: “We’re delighted with the result and grateful to everyone who got out in the cold and very wet weather to vote. 

“Of course, I’m also grateful to our previous councillor, Emma Coleman, who sadly had to resign after such a short time in post.” 

Steffan Aquarone, the Lib Dems Parliamentary candidate, said the result showed a positive sign for the party at the next general election and that voters did not trust the Tories on local and national issues.

Eastern Daily Press: Steffan Aquarone, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for North NorfolkSteffan Aquarone, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for North Norfolk (Image: Supplied)

He said: "I'm absolutely thrilled that Andrew Fletcher will be representing Briston on NNDC

"[The] result is a huge endorsement for the work of NNDC under Liberal Democrat leadership.  

"I know Andrew will be a brilliant representative for the village.   

“And that by putting himself forward authentically, he's helped bring about a new kind of politics, with less spin and division."