Eastleigh selection – the shortlist

February 11, 2013 6:01 pm

After longlisted candidates were interviewed by an NEC panel in London today, the shortlist for the Labour selection in Eastleigh has been announced. Tomorrow night Eastleigh CLP members will have a chance to choose their candidate for the by-election. The shortlisted candidates – and what we know about them – are below:

UnknownJohn O’Farrell is an author and broadcaster – best known in Labour circles for his book “Things can only get better”. He grew up in Maidenhead, where he stood as Labour’s candidate in the 2001 General Election (which was the subject of the BBC documentary Losing My Maidenhead). O’Farrell has also published four novels, and was a writer on both Spitting Image and Have I Got News For You, as well as being a former columnist for both The Independent and The Guardian. Update: O’Farrell has now received the backing of the GMB.

darren paffeyDarren Paffey is a Labour Councillor for Peartree Ward in nearby Southampton. He’s also a lecturer in Spanish and Linguistics at the University of Southampton. He has lived in Santiago, Chile where he also taught English and researched bilingual education policy.

sarahrabbittsSarah Rabbitts is a communications professional who has worked for the BBC and as a consultant for six years. She’s a new member of the Vauxhall Executive Committee and a local Labour campaigner. She only became a active member 18 months ago – however, she has been writing about key party issues in Labour Uncut and supporting campaigns including One Billion Rising. Sarah studied at the College of Law in York and the University of Manchester - and grew-up in Surrey, the North-East and East Anglia.
  • keeshond

    A candidate like John O’Farrell is just what is needed to light up this election. The choice would show Labour can fight a by-election without resorting to the control freakery of the past whilst introducing a candidate who is twice as personable and probably many times more intelligent than the rest . Any voter watching Maria Hutchings being referred by the Tory party manager, Grant Shapps, to her cue card on camera when asked about Lords’ reform must have sighed for a sentient being rather than another wind-up dummy. John has the personality and the commitment to win this for Labour and I predict a sudden collapse in the coalition parties’ vote if he is selected.

  • Daniel Speight

    Least said is best I guess.

  • NT86

    True. John O’Farell might just give Labour a fighting chance in Eastleigh. Still a tough one. But my goodness, the town will really find itself in a rut if they elect Maria Hutchings. She’s like a talking Daily Mail.

    • http://twitter.com/ElliotBidgood Elliot Bidgood

      O’Farrell has now been selected, btw, according to Twitter.

  • http://twitter.com/chriswcheeetham Chris Cheetham

    Hope it’s John O’Farrell – been around more than 10 minutes and has a personality which helps in by-election!

  • http://twitter.com/JimmyHSands Jimmy Sands

    Pick a card, any card you like

  • Pingback: Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news

  • http://twitter.com/jackjoh01219520 jack johnson

    Why does the fucking NEC choose the shortlist and not the CLP exec? No fucking democracy as usual!

  • http://twitter.com/jackjoh01219520 jack johnson

    Why does the fucking NEC choose the shortlist and not the CLP exec? No fucking democracy as usual!

  • http://twitter.com/jackjoh01219520 jack johnson

    Why does the fucking NEC choose the shortlist and not the CLP exec? No fucking democracy as usual!

    • jaime taurosangastre candelas

      Because institutionally the NEC does not trust the CLP?

      Self-selecting corporation versus self-selecting localism, and both have different agenda. And both disdain the local members, and none of them care much for the prospective MP’s particular passions, and she or he cares nothing at all for the Party, merely wanting to self-promote.

      Is this not how politics works, in practice?

  • Ballard J

    As a constituent of Eastleigh I will be voting for John O’Farrell but I would like to know why the Labour Party has not chosen a local candidate? Lib Dems and Tories have both fielded local people aware of local issues. Lib Dems have a strong hold in this area because they stay in touch with mail shots throughout the year and have their finger on the pulse of local concerns. Labour not helped by Lib Dems constant rhetoric that ‘Labour Cannot Win Here,’ yet two miles down the road Southampton Council is Labour run.
    John O’Farrell must counteract this damaging slogan and really make himself known to local residents.
    I have no doubt he’ll do his best but I cannnot help but wonder why a local candidate was not the first choice, when this seat is won and lost on predominantly local considerations.

  • Pingback: Feminista’s and Sexism | Freeborn George


  • Comment 10 social history visits for British politicos

    10 social history visits for British politicos

    New Lanark (Lanarkshire) The Robert Owen Museum (Montgomeryshire) The People’s Palace (Glasgow) St Giles’ Cathedral (Edinburgh) The People’s History Museum (Manchester) The International Slavery Museum (Liverpool) Cable Street (London) The Holocaust Memorial Garden (London) The British Library (London) The Tolpuddle Martyrs Museum (Dorset) Obviously most LabourList readers think of this Saturday as part of the countdown to polling day but on the off-chance your organiser is letting you get any friends and family time this holiday weekend, here are ten […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Obama veteran David Axelrod joins Labour campaign team

    Obama veteran David Axelrod joins Labour campaign team

    There are few superstars in political campaigning – but David Axelrod is undoubtedly one of them. And he’s joining Labour’s 2015 election campaign team. The Obama veteran – who took the US President from state senator to the White House in a matter of years, and then got him re-elected – will be joining Labour’s campaign team as a Senior Strategic Adviser. That means he’ll be going head to head with fellow Obama veteran Jim Messina (now working with the […]

    Read more →
  • News A brief guide to David Cameron’s Christian “moral code”

    A brief guide to David Cameron’s Christian “moral code”

    As we approach Easter, David Cameron has talked about his “moral code”, called for a more strident Christianity that is “more evangelical about a faith that compels us to get out there and make a difference to people’s lives” and praised ”countless acts of kindness carried out by those who believe in and follow Christ”. Meanwhile, a “Whitehall Source” was today smearing the Christian charity The Trussell Trust, who yesterday revealed that in the past year food bank use has reached […]

    Read more →
  • News Labour’s PPC for Colne Valley stands down

    Labour’s PPC for Colne Valley stands down

    Binnie Joshi Barr, Labour’s candidate in Colne Valley, has decided to step down due to health reasons. Barr announced her decision in a letter to local party members. She said: “Colne Valley deserves and will have a Labour MP in 2015. Unfortunately due to ill health, it is not going to be me. “Since the birth of my daughter Aarya eight weeks ago, my rheumatoid arthritis has returned and worse than before. I have regrettably come to the conclusion that […]

    Read more →
  • Comment How Putin shows the same ‘maskirovka’ as his own soldiers

    How Putin shows the same ‘maskirovka’ as his own soldiers

    Yesterday in the European Parliament the EU Commissioner at the heart of the Ukraine crisis told MEPs that the rhetoric from Russia was “worse than at any time in the Cold War.” Today in Geneva four-way talks are taking place which are bringing Europe back to the forefront of the diplomacy seeking to de-escalate the crisis. But the stand-off in towns across Eastern Ukraine remains at least as likely to trigger the very opposite. On behalf of Labour in Europe, we have continued to maintain […]

    Read more →