The Conservatives have lost their majority on a Norfolk council after a shock by-election result saw them lose to the Greens by just 10 votes.

Suzanne Wateridge's victory in the Bunwell ward has given her party its first seat on South Norfolk Council and means the Tories no longer have overall control of the authority.

The election was called following the death of Conservative councillor Stephen Ridley, who passed away in March following a short illness.

The ward covers the villages of Bunwell, Carleton Rode, Great Moulton and Aslacton.

Before the result, the Tories had a majority of one on South Norfolk Council.

Their defeat means it is the first time since 2007 that they have not had overall control of the authority.

Mrs Wateridge, a freelance writer, received 404 votes, while her Tory rival Charles Easton took 394.

Mike Crouch, for Labour, received 131 and Trevor Wenman, the two-time major of Diss and Liberal Democrat candidate, took 68.

Mrs Wateridge moved to south Norfolk with her family seven years ago and was the only candidate not to have previously stood in the district.

Eastern Daily Press: South Norfolk Council is now under no overall controlSouth Norfolk Council is now under no overall control (Image: South Norfolk Council)

She said: "I've really enjoyed going door to door meeting residents in the four villages of the ward.

"I'm looking forward to representing them and holding the Conservative-run council to account.

"It's very clear from my conversations on the doorstep that people have been put off politics because they feel that they are not listened to. I aim to change that."

Around 40pc of people turned out to vote in the Bunwell by-election, with five ballots rejected due to being incorrectly filled out. 

The Conservatives had 24 seats on South Norfolk Council, having lost 11 in last year's local elections. They now have 23 and are still the largest party. 

The result bucks a gloomy national trend for the Conservatives who have suffered huge reverses elsewhere.