FINANCIAL adviser Deborah Dunleavy has been selected as the Tory candidate to take on MP David Crausby at the next General Election.

More than 200 residents turned out to an "open primary" meeting held by the Conservatives to decide who would contest the Bolton North-east constituency.

Residents who registered were allowed to vote for their favoured candidate, irrespective of whether or not they were party members.

Mrs Dunleavy beat off competition from Cllr Paul Brierley, a Bolton Council ward member for Bradshaw, and Michael Winstanley, who works for the NHS and is leader of Wigan Council's Conservative group.

She said: "I am absolutely thrilled. I was so overwhelmed by the number of people who turned out to support me and I am very grateful. The atmosphere was phenomenal."

The mother of three, who lives in Turton, is a financial adviser and company director.

She was the Bolton South-east candidate at the 2005 General Election, but lost to the sitting MP Brian Iddon.

Mrs Dunleavy, aged 42, has now pledged to give Mr Crausby a run for his money by getting more people out to vote.

She said: "I want to try to offer a fresh face in politics for Bolton North-east.

"I want to inspire people back to voting for us."

Issues on which she intends to fight the election include anti-social behaviour and facilities for young people.

Bolton North-east is one of the first constituencies in Greater Manchester to use the open primary system.

Labour won the seat by 4,103 votes at the 2005 general election.