Martin Schulz ‘knocks the vote’ in Sweden



PES candidate for European Commission President, Martin Schulz, yesterday joined representatives of the Swedish Social Democrats (SAP) for door to door canvassing in the town of Umea, Sweden. With SAP lead candidate, Marita Ulvskog, Schulz talked directly to voters in the northern Swedish town about their main concerns for the upcoming European Parliament elections (22-25 May 2014).

Speaking to one local homeowner, Bosse, Schulz quoted young Danish social democratic candidate Kathrine Alexandrowiz who had asked; “have the voters left us or have we left the voters?’ Schulz made the point that social democratic representatives had to earn the right to be trusted by being present and active in local communities. After speaking for 15 minutes Bosse said that he had been sitting on the fence, but that now he would ‘definitely vote for Schulz’.

The door to door canvassing approach forms the foundation of the Party of European Socialists (PES) strategy for the elections. Given that the turnout was only 43% in 2009 the tactic is to mobilise the ‘base’ social democratic voters who tend not to vote in European elections, but do vote in general or local elections.

The initiative, called ‘knock the vote’ has taken off across the EU. PES activists have shared images from across Europe at #knockthevote.