The battle lines are drawn in all three constituencies of the borough after the Conservative Party candidate was selected for Bolton South and Walkden.

Mohammed Afzal is to take on Labour's Yasmin Qureshi at the time of the next general election after he was selected at a meeting of members this week.

Mr Afzal, who is from Pendle, Lancashire, but who works across Greater Manchester with his family furniture business, is no stranger to the process as he stood for the seats of Bradford West, Birmingham Yardley and Manchester Gorton over the last eight years, all unsuccessfully.

His selection comes after the Labour Party chose Kirith Entwistle and Phil Brickell to take on Mark Logan and Chris Green in Bolton North East and Bolton West respectively.

Mr Afzal said: "Bolton is a diverse community, a multi-cultural community, so the important thing is I'd like to give them something to make sure they connect with the party.

"My purpose is I want to make a change, I want to make a difference, I want to be their voice and to make sure they get what they want."

The Bolton News: Mohammed Afzal

Others to take on Ms Qureshi since she became one of the first female Muslim MPs in 2010 include councillors Andy Morgan, who lost to her by 8634 votes, and Mudasir Dean, who lost to her by 12266 votes. Cllr Dean was outperformed by UKIP's Jeff Armstrong as well.

Then there were Sarah Pochin who lost by 13126 votes and Johno Lee who lost by 7598 votes in a safe seat which for the first time at the time of the next election includes the wards of Walkden North, Walkden South and Little Hulton.

The polls suggest all three constituencies of the borough are likely to be a part of a restored Red Wall putting the Labour Party's chance of winning at no less than 90 per cent in each one of them.

But those within the Conservative Party said Mr Afzal is the man to take the fight to Ms Qureshi.

Lewis Croden, the chair of the local Conservative Association, said: "We are pleased with the selection of Mohammed following a process which included a range of candidates and we look forward to mounting a campaign in the elections."

Martyn Cox, the leader of the Conservative Group on Bolton Council, said: "We selected the right man for the constituency and I look forward to supporting him become our third Conservative MP."

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.