The rules...

At UEL Students' Union, we take the election of our student leaders very seriously. Legally, officers must be democratically elected students who represent the student voice in various ways and we wouldn't have it any other way. To ensure fairness and that voters have the best possible opportunity to find out who they are selecting for the Union, we have a set of election rules that govern our elections and what we expect from candidates. In addition to our rules, University regulations and UK law still apply. Any questions regarding the rules can be sent to

Election rules

  1. Candidates and campaigners who through their involvement with, or who hold (or have held) positions of responsibility within, UELSU may not use resources available to them and not to other students. This includes UELSU-purchased equipment and clothing, any central UELSU mailing lists and official UELSU social media groups. This list is not exhaustive, but does not include any individual society held mailing lists or social media accounts.
  2. Candidates are responsible for all campaign activity carried out in their name; this includes the actions of third parties on their behalf.
  3. Candidates and campaigners may not:
    1. force, coerce or in any way intimidate students, particularly when they are near or in the act of voting.
    2. vote on behalf of another student
    3. intimidate any participant in the election
    4. deliberately sabotage any campaign other than their own
    5. deface another candidate’s materials, publicity, online media, social networking site etc vi) make an attempt to defraud the election
    6. make any attempt to influence the impartiality of the Returning Officer, Deputy Returning Officer, UELSU staff
    7. discuss the personal traits of another candidate
    8. misrepresent another candidate’s views or make claims about themselves or any other candidate that are untrue.
    9. Set up their own 'voting station', hand voters an electronic device for the purpose of voting, supervise or watch a voter in the act of voting, or demand that voters take out their own electronic device in order to vote immediately 
    10. bring the election process into disrepute
  4. Candidates and campaigners must:
    1. Uphold the letter and spirit of the election rules 
    2. Follow the laws and regulations of both the land and the University at all times.


Slate guidance

  • Candidates are only able to run independently without shared used of slogans, designs, resources and materials.
  • Shared slogans and designs make all candidates jointly liable. Therefore, candidates cannot share a slate name as it would influence other elections and have undue influence on the voters' ability to look at each individual race on its own merits.
  • Manifestoes and other related campaign materials must also be independent as they can cause undue influence on other election races.

Bye-law 3: Elections

1. No member shall have more than one vote.

2. Voting shall be by secret ballot using the single transferable vote (STV) system as described by the Electoral Reform Society of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and shall include re-open nominations as a candidate.

3. Should re-open nominations be the elected candidate, then the post in question shall remain vacant until a by-election is held.

4. Should re-open nominations be elected in a multi-seat election, its surplus votes shall be transferred to a new re-open nominations candidate.

5. The Returning Officer (as defined in the Union?s constitution) shall be appointed in accordance with the Constitution for the period of any election, for the purpose of administering the election regulations.

6. The Deputy Returning Officer shall be the Democratic Services Co-ordinator for the period of the election to support the Returning Officer in their duties.

7. The Returning Officer shall be responsible for the conduct of all matters regarding the elections.

8. The Returning Officer shall have the duty to determine and amend the Campaign Rules.

9. The Returning Officer shall produce a report on the conduct of the Sabbatical Elections which shall be presented to the Board of Governors.

Powers of the Returning Officer

10. The Returning Officer can rule out of order any statement or the contents of any publicity which they view is in breach of the Constitution, Bye-Laws and the NUS No platform Policy.

11. The Returning Officer is the sole official competent to deal with complaints about the conduct and administration of the Elections Bye-Law.

12. A candidate who wishes to appeal against the decisions of the Returning Officer, can do so by appealing to the University's Board Of Governors.

Elected Positions

13. The following posts shall be elected by cross-campus ballot:

(i) Sabbatical Officers

(ii) Student Council Members, not elected elsewhere.

(iii) National Union of Students (NUS) Representatives who will attend all National, regional and Extraordinary Conferences in that academic year.

(iv) Student Governor Trustee

14. Delegates to NUS Liberation Conferences shall only be elected by members self-defining within these groups.

Timing of Elections

15. Elections shall be held at times which are intended to enable the largest possible number of members to vote.

16. Formal notice of all elections shall be given from the start of each academic year with the agreement of Student Council, with full details available from the notice periods indicated below.

17. Nominations shall open no less than sixteen days before the close of polling.

18. Detailed Notice of elections shall be given a minimum of seven working days before nominations open.

19. Nominations shall close no less than ten working days before the close of polling.

20. A candidates? meeting must be held following the closure of nominations at a time specified by the Returning Officer.


21. Subject to clauses 50-54 of the Constitution, Officer Trustees elected in by-elections shall hold office from the date that the result is declared for the remainder of that period in office.

22. In the event of a vacancy in the Student Governor Trustee post, Union Council can call a by-election at its discretion such that polling closes in term time. The replacement of any trustees shall be subject to the requirements of the constitution.


23. The Nomination form must be available online as soon as nominations open.

24. Nominations shall be completed online. The Returning Officer will then check and compile these at the close of nominations.

25. A receipt must be issued to confirm the submission of each completed nomination; this will be issued after the close of nominations.

26. No member may stand for more than one position in the same election and no member may stand for a position as both a Sabbatical Officer and Student Councillor at the same time.

27. All nominees must be in good standing with the University. Nominations will not be accepted from members who have been suspended or excluded as a consequence of outstanding fees or other debts, or have been disciplined under Part 12 of the Manual of General Regulations, student disciplinary regulations and procedures, under Part 8, academic misconduct, including penalties for Academic Misconduct beyond a warning, this excludes pre-2010/11 Level A penalties.


28. Hustings shall be held for the elections of Sabbatical Officers.

29. Hustings shall be open to all candidates seeking election to these positions.

30. Candidates should inform the Returning Officer in writing if they are unable to attend hustings, stating their reasons for non-attendance.

31. Hustings for the posts of Sabbatical Officers shall be chaired by the Returning Officer. In the event that they are unable to attend, the Deputy Returning Officer will chair.


32. Polling shall take place in a manner which allows the greatest possible number of members to take part.

33. Valid University user details are required in order to vote.

34. The names of candidates for each elected position shall be placed in random order on the ballot.

35. Polling for all elections will take place online only.


36. All campaigning publicity must meet the requirements of the Elections Handbook, as approved by the Returning Officer.

37. All candidates/nominees in an Election or Referendum shall receive a publicity budget at a level set by the Returning Officer.

38. No candidate shall publish or display publicity away from the premises of the University or before the beginning of the campaigning period, as determined by the Returning Officer.

39. All publicity must display the Union's Official stamp.

40. No campaign publicity should refer at any point to any member of the Union staff by name or by position, or in any other way which may identify them. Any breach of this rule may result in immediate disqualification.

41. All candidates and campaigners must adhere to the UELSU Candidate's Code of Conduct, University's Code of Conduct, University?s Equality & Diversity policy and the University's Personal Dignity Policy.


43. Manifestos must be submitted by the closing date laid down in the Election Timetable. Manifestos must be presented as outlined in the Election Handbook.

44. Manifestos will be displayed with nomination information on the Union's election webpage.

Voting On-line

45. Unless otherwise specified in the Constitution or these bye-laws, or where directed otherwise by the Returning Officer because of hardware or software limitations, elections shall be conducted on-line.

46. The Returning Officer shall check the operation of the software to be employed and if satisfied, that the system will meet the requirements of these regulations shall certify the software accordingly.

47. The system shall require that access to the "election site" shall be restricted to students of the University. As a part of the system, students must authenticate their status as a student of the University.

48. The Returning Officer shall arrange for the production of an on-line ballot for each position being contested. Ballots shall bear the name of each candidate and the office being contested.

49. The ballot shall be produced so as only to permit completion in accordance with the electoral system specified in these regulations.

50. The "election site" shall show a list of the candidates standing in each election and advice as to the process of completing a ballot.

51. The method of voting shall be by Alternative Transferable Vote in single seat constituencies and Single Transferable Vote in multi-seat constituencies for all posts.

52. There will be a facility for voting for Re- open Nominations for each position.

The Count

53. The count will commence only if the Returning Officer is satisfied that all complaints relating to the conduct and administration of the election have been resolved. Complaints after the count has commenced may only relate to the conduct of the count and must be lodged in writing within twenty four hours of the verbal declaration of the Election result.

54. Each candidate or an appointed representative may, if they so wish, attend the counting of the votes, as observers only.

55. The Returning Officer may be assisted in the count by a number of individuals as deemed necessary by the Returning Officer.


56. Results of the election(s) shall be declared by the Returning Officer as the count for each post is completed and when the count for all posts has been successfully completed.

57. A list of successful candidates will be posted on the Unions website within three working days of the declaration of results.


58. Candidates/Nominees must conduct themselves in line with the Elections Handbook.

59. All Candidates must attend the Candidates training provided by the Students' Union and any other elections-related events, as stipulated by the Returning Officer.

60. Campaigning may begin at the end of the candidates/nominees briefing.

61. Complaints regarding candidates conduct must be submitted to the Returning Officer no later than the close of polling. In determining a complaint, the Returning Officer after hearing all the appropriate evidence may not uphold the complaint or may halt elections for specified post(s) or disqualify specified candidate(s) if, in their view, one or more candidates has breached the Election rules.

62. Receipts covering budgets used in campaigning shall be submitted to the appointed office by the close of polling.

63. The Returning Officer may take any disciplinary action that they believe to be reasonable.

64. The University Board of Governors shall hear any appeals relating to decisions of the Returning Officer.

65. If a candidate/nominee wishes to complain against any decision of the Returning Officer they must do so using the University complaints procedure.


66. The timing of the count shall be approved by the Returning Officer prior to the start of polling.

67. Each candidate/nominee in any election will be permitted to nominate one individual to monitor the count on their behalf.

68. Complaints about the count must be made in writing to the Returning Officer no late than 1 working day after the announcement of the result.

69. The results of all Union elections shall be certified by the Returning Officer.

Docklands (primary) office

NB.G.01 (North Building)
4-6 University Way
E16 2RD

T: 020 8223 7025


Stratford office

The Dome, University House
Water Lane
E15 4LZ

T: 020 8223 4209

Charity number: 1173994
Company number: 10820498
© UEL Students' Union 2019
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