Category Archives: Election campaigning

Belgian local elections – don’t miss your chance to vote!

The next communal elections in Belgium will take place on Sunday 14 October. Did you realise you can vote?

Electoral law in Belgium recognises the right of all EU citizens to vote in – and stand for – local elections, and casting your vote could make all the difference in your commune.

But you have to register. If you haven’t done so yet, then don’t delay!

Brussels Labour strongly urges you to take up this opportunity to support the socialist candidates in the Brussels communes, who will include candidates from other EU member states. At least two Brussels Labour members will stand.

Your registration form has to be submitted by 31 July 2012 and copies are available at the electoral registration service (service électorat) in your commune, with specific details provided on their websites. If you registered for the 2006 elections, then you don’t need to do so again.

You can find out why your commune matters to you here.

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Next Branch meeting: Ken Livingstone’s campaign team

The next Brussels Labour branch meeting takes place this week:

Peter May – London Labour Party

‘The London Mayoral elections’ 

Wednesday 25 January – Square Ambiorix 6, 1000 Brussels – 20:00

The meeting begins at 20:00. As this event is not in a bar or restaurant, there will be no food served, and you are invited to bring a bottle.

Forthcoming meetings include:

Sister Parties meeting & reception – Preparation for Communal Elections 

Wednesday 29 February – Further details tbc

Brussels Labour Annual General Meeting

Wednesday 21 March – Further details tbc

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Does Your Commune Matter To You?

The Parti Socialiste – in collaboration with sister parties – has produced a new leaflet (click here to download the PDF) on the communal elections in Belgium. These elections will take place on 14 October 2012, and all EU citizens can register to exercise their right to vote.

Download the leaflet to find out why it is important to vote in the communal elections and please share the leaflet with your friends.

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Guest blog from Duncan Enright: ‘Winning Labour’s first seat from the Tories in 2011’

Duncan Enright is a councillor for the Witney East ward on Witney Town Council. The town’s MP is David Cameron. Duncan is son of Derek Enright, who was a Member of the European Parliament from 1979 to 1984 and then an MP from 1991 until his death in 1995.

For the last 15 years I have lived in Witney, a lovely market town in West Oxfordshire. My three children, Katy (15), Lucy (11) and Tom (8) all go to local schools, including the outstanding Wood Green High School where my wife Sally-Ann is a teacher. I’m a publisher and like many of my neighbours I commute. However I enjoy Witney – I play football with other local dads, we go to the local Catholic church, and I work for the local Labour Party and have stood locally for many years. The highlight until now has been having local MP Shaun Woodward defecting from the Tories in 2000 and signing his Labour Party membership card in our sitting room! 

Last year the Tory town councillor for Witney East, Louise Chapman, was barred from office because she didn’t turn up for six consecutive months. Odd this – they are adept at managing this sort of situation. One of the other Tories (there are four for Witney East and 15 on the council of 17, one Lib Dem who votes with them) hasn’t been seen for two years, and has got away with it.

The Tories wanted to coopt a replacement. They did the same in 2009 when the only Green stood down (found it too hard going). Despite promises to the gullible Greens, they replaced him with a Tory ex-mayor! Instead I collected the ten signatures needed to force a by-election.

The Tory constituency agent, who is also the debarred councillor’s father, railed against the expense of a by-election, and rather backed them into a corner. I took the opportunity to ram home the need for a local voice on various key local issues, which you can read about at It was a great chance to state my platform, and had the advantage of being the absolute truth – these are key issues where the town councillors have done nothing, or worse still the wrong thing.

We started early, posting a letter through all doors before the nominations closed. I have the advantage of being the candidate in every election since 2007, and living right in the heart of the ward. My kids go to the local schools, my wife teaches at one, and I play football with local dads (badly). I was able to press this advantage before the Greens and Lib Dems had even decided to stand. (I did in fact write to them to ask them to stand aside in my favour, so we could challenge the Tories directly on the big local issue of a disputed £20m bypass – I’m against and the Tories are for. Subsequently the Lib Dem candidate, also against, has been abandoned by his County colleagues who voted for unanimously. Same old Lib Dems!)

To be honest, when the list closed I was disappointed not to have a Tory candidate, and also assumed that their support, which is pretty substantial locally, would naturally transfer to their mates the Lib Dems. Continue reading Guest blog from Duncan Enright: ‘Winning Labour’s first seat from the Tories in 2011’

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General election – thank you!

Many thanks to all who helped with the General Election Campaign, whether phone canvassing or on the campaign weekends in London and Hastings.

Labour is now facing a period of opposition, but we came out of the elections with our heads held high. We lost power at the national level but we won it back in many local councils. And while many good Labour MPs lost their seats, including a number with special links to our Branch such as Michael Foster and Gwyn Prosser, others, such as Emma Reynolds, former BL Treasurer, are elected for the first time. And Glenda Jackson was re-elected by the narrowest of margins – we like to think the visit by Brussels Labour made all the difference! A big thank you to Brussels Labour members for all they did during the election.

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General election campaigning

With the General Election now set for 6 May, we are full swing into campaigning mode. Check back here regularly for details of campaigning events and how to help back in the UK.

Remember, we are planning two UK Campaiging weekends.

The first will be on 17-18 April to help in a London constituency on Saturday pm and Sunday am. You will need to make your own transport and accomodation arrangements, though there may be some seats available by car.

The second weekend will be in Hastings and Rye, 1-2 May. Here, we will share car transport. Again, you will need to arrange accomodation, but we can give you details of a Labour-friendly hotel.

Please let the secretary know ( if you will join us for either weekend.

More details on Hasting campaigning:

James Royston, who works in the EPLP office, is Labour’s Parliamentary candidate for Bexhill & Battle and is currently in the UK campaigning. Bexhill & Battle is twinned with next-door Hastings & Rye, a key marginal seat, and James will be campaigning in both seats.

If you are interested in helping out further, beyond the 1-2 May weekend, please get in touch with James directly at or on +44 7926 660 950.

James and the team will be out canvassing every day in both constituencies, and there will be lots that needs doing for anyone not comfortable with door-knocking, so any help is greatly appreciated! Both constituencies are close to Ashford Eurostar station (1h40 from Brussels but not all trains stop in Ashford) and James should be able to help set up accommodation too.

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Brussels Labour campaign fund

Brussels Labour has its own campaign fund, which allows us to offer support to the Labour Party and candidates in elections in the UK, support our sister parties in elections in Belgium, and to host events at Labour Party annual conference.

Should you wish to make a donation, the account details are:

Account number: 036-1269593-77 | IBAN: BE80 0361 2695 9377 | BIC: GEBABEBB

Account name: Brussels Labour Party Group | Bank: BNP Paribas Fortis

Communication: ‘[name] Campaign fund donation‘


To read more about Brussels Labour’s campaign activities, read the posts below.

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