Voting In The Elections - An Explanation

It’s that all important time of year again, where campus is plastered in cardboard, candidates are on the prowl for potential voters, and social media is packed with pleas for votes. But how does the voting process actually work?

How Do I Vote?

Voting in the SU’s election is super easy. Simply follow through the link on our site, and you’ll be taken to the voting page. 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.

Where Can I Vote?

You can vote from the comfort of your own home, on any laptop, PC, or mobile device by clicking this link.

Alternatively, we’ll have ballot stations operating throughout the three days of voting, with one inside the EWD building, one at the SU, and one at The Hub. We’ll have tablets set up from 11am - 3pm, so you can vote privately on campus, whenever you need to.

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.


Let’s Have A Look At An Example...

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%

Whilst 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 – 25%

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 – 59%

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 of 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!

Head over to the election website to see all of their manifestos. Campaigning has kicked off and voting opens on Monday 26 February. This is your chance to help shape the future of your SU and every vote counts. Who will lead your Union?