The Leadership Race: Elections Rules

Here's a breakdown of the rules for our biggest annual election!

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These rules ensure our elections are free and fair. Any breach of them may result in disqualification. Please refer to the separate guidance provided to understand what may happen if you break election rules. 


  1. Fair – It is important that we elect people in a free and fair manner. It is fair that each candidate has the right to promote themselves; it would be unfair to hinder anyone else’s campaign. The rules are not here to give everyone an equal chance of winning, just a fair one. 

  1. Safe - Do not cause any danger with your campaign materials or campaigning and avoid endangering yourself and others. Be sensible and check with the Union if you think an idea is risky. 

  1. Legal - The Students’ Union and the University cannot tolerate any behaviour which may constitute a breach of the law or institutional rules and regulations. Breaking University or Union regulations during an election counts as a break in election rules. 

  1. Constructive - Being positive about what you would bring to a role will get you more votes than being negative about others, so rather than outlining the failures of others, highlight your strengths and experience. If you do wish to debate other candidate's ideas, this must be done in a constructive manner – online or in person. 


  1. Candidates that are asked to complete a disclosure form relevant to their role must do so before the close of the nominations period. 

  1. Campaigners should not undertake campaign activity which others could not also reasonably do. 

  1. Candidates must take reasonable steps to ensure that their supporters’ actions always comply with election rules and must be able to demonstrate this in the event of a complaint against them. 

  1. Campaigners may only alter, move or remove their own campaign materials. 

  1. Campaigners may only use mailing lists where lawful to do so. In most cases this will require the consent of the members on the list to use their details. 

  1. Campaigners must allow students to cast their vote freely and must not communicate with voters in any way once they have begun to complete their ballot. 


Candidates for certain roles will receive a set budget for their campaign which must not be exceeded, or they may be disqualified from the election. 

  1. Full-Time Officer candidates receive £25 and NUS (National Union of Students) Delegate and Department Representatives both receive £10. 

  1. All campaigners must submit a written list of all campaign costs with corresponding receipts to the Deputy Returning Officer no later than 12 hours after polls close. If candidates do not spend any money during their campaign this must be made clear on their submission. 

  1. Items freely and readily available to all campaigners can be used without needing to be recorded as part of campaign spending (e.g. cardboard). Candidates can source these appropriately from where they see fit. 

  1. Preowned items that were not bought for the purpose of the election can be used without being recorded (e.g. a bedsheet). A candidate may be challenged on this and will be expected provide reasonable evidence that this is the case.