The Tories used an open selection method to promote Boris Johnson when Cameron asked him to be his standard bearer in London, where he beat London tories with no national image before being heavily promoted by the Lyin' (whoops) Evening Standard. The BBC has the current story here:
Totnes Conservative will have spent £40,ooo on their postal ballot, and their candidate will have been selected by the votes of Labour, Lib-Dem, Green and UKIP voters as well as, perhaps a few conservatives. Worth remembering that Anthony Steen MP, who was well liked by folk I knew in that area, was a maverick, and an untypical tory has best sort there IMHO.
This constituency must have worked out another reason why an open ballot made sense for them:
Yep, UKIP may win there if they can get their act together . . . (South Hams includes Totnes the town, and the constituency is redrawn: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Totnes_(UK_Parliament_constituency)#Boundaries )
The Tory wiseacres there no doubt wisely judged that the new boundaries, taking in parts of Torbay, will be a difficult one for them, their strategy looks well founded in practice.
Utterly dishonest and scunnerish, typical tory - eh?