Elections Voting 101

Take a read of our handy guide to voting in this year's elections for academic reps, Collective convenors and Societies, Sports & Opportunities Executive members.

If you've not already done so, it's now time to have your say on who becomes your new academic reps, Collective convenors and Societies, Sports & Opportunities Executive members for 2019/20.

It's important that you use your right to vote in these elections, as your elected course, department or school rep will have a very big impact on your academic experience at Royal Holloway.

If you’ve joined a Collective, you’ve not got a fantastic opportunity to decide who leads your activities, events and campaigns, while student group members can now have a say on who represents your voice on the Societies, Sports & Opportunities Executive.

What can I vote for?

Academic Reps

All students can cast votes for their course, department and school reps. There are a number of different positions that you'll be able to vote for - a full breakdown will be visible when you head to the voting page.


If you've joined as a member of a Collective, you'll be eligible to vote for the convenors who will lead your Collective. Please note, only those who are full members (i.e. people who identify within that group) are able to take part in the election. While you'll be able to actively engage with the activity of the Collective throughout the year, supporters cannot vote in an election.


While we have three different Executives, only the Societies, Sports & Opportunities Executive has positions to be elected with ten student group members joining the VP Societies & Media (Chair), VP Sport (Chair) and President. If you're part of a sports club, society or media outlet, with a current Student Opportunities membership, you'll be able to vote for who you want to represent you.

How do I vote?

Voting is super easy. Simply click the links below, make sure you have logged in to your account and hit the 'vote' button to be taken to the voting platform. From there, just choose the position you want to vote for, and you’ll be faced with a list of candidates running for that position.

Simply order them in terms of preference, with your favourite at the top, and your least favourite at the bottom. Click submit and you’re done - it’s as simple as that! If you’re not happy with any of the candidates, you can vote for R.O.N – re-open nominations.

Academic Reps

Collectives & Executives

Why do I have to rank candidates?

SU elections work a little differently to standard general elections. Rather than using the First Past The Post (FPTP) system, we use a system called the Single Transferable Vote (STV). With STV, you’ll be asked to rank candidates in order of preference.

When we count the votes, there will be a number of “rounds”- after the first count we’ll be able to see which candidate is the least popular. But the people who voted for that candidate haven’t wasted their vote, because their votes will now be given to their second choice.

This process continues until either there is one candidate remaining, or a candidate reaches a majority.


There are four candidates running for President – Colossus, Tommy Toast, Jane Holloway, and Thomas Holloway, the living statue. After the votes are counted, the breakdown is as follows:

  • Colossus – 36%
  • Tommy Toast – 5%
  • Jane Holloway – 33%
  • Thomas Holloway – 26%

While Colossus has the most votes, they only have 36% of the votes, which means that 64% of voters are unhappy. But with STV, the least popular candidate is eliminated, which in this case is Tommy Toast. Tommy Toast voters listed Jane Holloway as their second choice, and so their votes now go to her. This is what the second round of counting looks like:

  • Colossus – 36%
  • Jane Holloway – 38%
  • Thomas Holloway – 26%

This leaves Thomas Holloway as the least popular candidate, and his votes, in accordance to their second choice, also goes to Jane Holloway. The next round of voting looks like this:

  • Colossus – 36%
  • Jane Holloway – 64%

Now that we have a candidate with a clear majority, we can declare a winner! Whilst Jane didn’t receive the most first choice votes at the start of the election, STV has been able to calculate that she would be the most representative candidate. Now naturally STV is slightly more complicated than this, as not every voter for one candidate will have the same second choice, but that’s the general idea!