Eastleigh selection – the shortlist

11th February, 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.

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  • 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.

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

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

  • Pick a card, any card you like

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

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

  • 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.

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