FRINTON actor Giles Watling and Colchester councillor Sue Lissimore will fight it out at an 'open primary' to be the Tory candidate to take on defecting MP Douglas Carswell.

A by-election will take place in the Clacton constituency on October 9.

It was triggered by the resignation and defection of Tory MP Mr Carswell to Ukip. Mr Carswell will stand for Ukip in the by-election.

The Conservative candidate will be chosen by voters - not just party members - at an 'open primary' on Thursday.

The Conservative Party has revealed the shortlist includes Mr Watling and Mrs Lissimore.

Mr Watling, 61, of Frinton, is famed for play Oswald the vicar in Carla Lane's 1980s sitcom Bread. He previously ran Frinton Summer Theatre and is a town and district councillor.

He is also a trustee director of the Royal Theatrical Fund and fundraises to give disabled children access to sailing. He is married with two children.

Mrs Lissimore, 47, of Prettygate, Colchester, is a former Clacton schoolgirl and was first elected to Colchester Council in 2006. She was elected to Essex County Council last year.

She works for her family business R L Lissimore Electricians and is also a trustee of the Straight Road Community Centre and supporter of Westlands Country Park. She is married with three children.

Simon Martin-Redman, chairman of Clacton Conservative Association, said: “We have shortlisted two exceptional candidates both of whom would make excellent campaigners for Clacton, Frinton and the surrounding areas.

“There’s a strong contrast between the Conservatives, who are giving all local voters a say in selecting our candidate and Ukip who forced out their democratically selected candidate in order to allow Mr Carswell to stand.

“There’s been a huge amount of interest in our open primary and I urge all local residents to register and join us on Thursday evening.”

The 'open primary' is set to take place at Clacton Town Hall at 6.30pm tomorrow.