Conservatives in the Borders were the first in Scotland to use a public process to select their candidate to fight the 2015 general election.
John Lamont, Roxburgh, Ettrick and Berwickshire MSP and Scottish Borders councillor Michelle Ballantyne went head to head at the open primary in Kelso on Sunday evening, John emerging victorious as the Conservative candidate for the Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency.
The process was used in an effort to make the system of choosing candidates more transparent, while allowing the broader electorate to be more involved.
More than 300 people attended the event, which saw members of the audience ask questions on a range of topics.
After the votes were counted, and he had been declared the winner, Mr Lamont said: “I am delighted to have won the first open primary in Scotland to become the parliamentary candidate for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk.
“It was overwhelming to see so many people turn out to get involved in this important process.
“I hope that other parties will learn from this experience and open up their candidate selection systems.
“I am very clear that my number one priority will be to continue to provide a first class service to my constituents in the Borders and to represent them to the best of my abilities.”
Chairman of the Scottish Borders Conservative and Unionist Association, Robert Miller-Bakewell, said: “This open primary has been an outstanding success, and looks set to be repeated elsewhere in Scotland.
“John and Michelle both demonstrated the exceptional qualities of our Scottish Conservative elected representatives here in the Borders.
“By running an open primary, we have raised even higher the profile of the Scottish Conservatives here in the Borders and ratcheted up the pressure on our political opponents.”
John Lamont has been MSP for Roxburgh and Berwickshire since May 2007, and is currently Scottish Conservative Chief Whip and Parliamentary Business Manager.
The 2015 General Election will be his third attempt to win the seat from Liberal Democrat MP Michael Moore - he contested in 2005 and 2010. In the 2010 election he increased his share of the vote by 6.8%.