LABOUR has won a narrow victory over the Tories in tonight's by-election for Jaywick’s Golf Green ward.

The seat was left vacant following the death of veteran Tendring First councillor Roy Smith, who died aged 83 on January 29, following a heart attack.

Dan Casey, of Park Square East, won the by-election with a majority of only fives votes.

Mr Casey picked up 409 votes and was followed by Conservative candidate John Chittock, who gained 404 votes.

Tendring First candidate Louise Stanley picked up 313 votes, Keith Beaumont of the British National Party (BNP) gained 139 votes and was followed by independent candidate Christopher Judd with 120 votes.

Liberal democrat candidate John Candler came last with 63 votes.

The result means that the Tendring First-led coalition, which includes the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats and independents, could seize power from the minority Tory administration at the annual Tendring Council meeting in May.

GOLF GREEN Dan Casey* (Lab and Co-op) 409, John Chittock (Con) 404, Louise Stanley (Tendring First) 313, Keith Beaumont (BNP) 139, Christopher Judd (Ind) 120, John Candler (Lib Dem) 63. Majority 5. Turnout 36.6%.