Election FAQs


We try to keep the Student Elections as simple and easy to understand as possible, however we do know it's a lot of information to take it and it can be a bit confusing if you've not been involved in one before. Below you'll find answers to some of our most frequenty asked questions, but if you can't find the information you are looking for here or elsewhere on the elections section of the website please do get in touch at elections@eusa.ed.ac.uk or pop in to see us in Potterrow! 


You don’t need any specific experience! You’ll get training which will build on your existing knowledge and skills.

Every year five students are elected by students at Edinburgh University and are paid £22,000 to work full-time to lead Edinburgh University Students’ Association. You can meet the current Sabbatical Officers here.


The roles are a brilliant opportunity for those passionate about Edinburgh, the students and the Association.


Sabbatical Officers become directors of an organisation with a £12 million turnover, trustees of our charity and representatives of over 40,000 students!


Nominations open: 14 Jan 
Nomination close: 5pm, 21 Feb
Campaigning starts: 12pm, 28 Feb
Voting opens: 4 Mar
Voting closes: 5pm, 7 Mar
Results party: 8 Mar! 

A manifesto tells people why you want to represent them and why they should vote for you – it sets out your ideas and plans. Your manifesto says WHY you think you would be a good elected representative and WHAT you would do if you were elected.


For advice and support on writing a manifesto, check our How to Run a Winning Campaign: Manifesto Development session. 


You can nominate yourself online here

You will get an automated e-mail with links to set up your online profile. You must submit your manifesto before 5pm Thursday 21st February for it to feature in our Elections Gazette. You have until 10am Wednesday 27th February to complete your online profile.

The Candidates Briefing is at 3.30pm on both Friday 22nd February and Monday 25th February.

We have a bunch of workshops at Central Campus and King’s Buildings Campus, which we highly recommend attending if you would like any support!


We love the enthusiasm, but you can only stand for one position in the Student Election! You can also run to be an NUS Scotland delegate alongside the position you're running for in the Student Elections!

Absolutely! We encourage all students to stand in our elections, and international students regularly become elected reps. The Students’ Association isn’t able to offer immigration advice but you can find out more about standing for a Sabbatical Officer position if you’re on a Tier 4 visa from the Student Immigration Service

Yes! With the exception of Undergraduate School Representatives, Postgrads can stand for any positions in the elections, including Sabbatical Officers. The more diverse our elected representatives the better they can represent our students!

While this is a great graduate opportunity, you can run to be a Sabbatical Officer at any stage of your degree, whether you’re just about to graduate or if you have a few years to go! If you’re elected your School will work with you to arrange for you to take time out of your studies to complete the role. 

We run workshops on campaigning, manifesto writing and promotion plus we have staff who are available to support you and give you guidance. You can see the full programme of events here and if you have any questions you’re welcome to email elections@eusa.ed.ac.uk or drop into the Student Representation and Leadership Hub in Potterrow.

For all elected representative elections we use the Alternative Transferable Vote (ATV) system. This means voters can rank candidates in order of preference, so their favourite candidate would be ranked number 1, second favourite would be number 2 and so on. Voters can put numbers next to as many or as few candidates as they like!

When the votes are counted, a formula is used to determine the winning quota required to be elected, this is normally 50% of the total vote. If no candidate has reached quota, the candidate with the least votes is eliminated and their further preferences are redistributed to remaining candidates. This is repeated until a candidate reaches quota.

So even if a student knows who they’re giving their first vote to, you should try and convince them to make you their second choice!

You can find the rules here

The Sabbatical Hustings are not compulsory, however we strongly recommend you attend as it is a great chance to promote yourself and could have a significant impact on the vote!

Societies can endorse candidates - if you can convince the committee you’re the best person for the job! Importantly, they cannot use any resources to support you and your campaign. Don’t forget, even if a society isn’t endorsing you, they may let you attend meetings or events so you can talk to their members.

In general, the same applies for any sports clubs hosted by the Edinburgh University Sports Union.

RON stands for Re-Open Nominations. At the Students’ Association we believe that you, the voter, should always have the choice to make a positive vote, even if you don’t agree with the policies of any of the candidates standing. This means even those candidates who appear to be standing alone for a post still need to convince you they’re the best person for the job! 

If RON won an election the role would be reopened and another election would be held at a time deemed suitable.

At Edinburgh University Students’ Association, we are committed to ensuring that our elections processes are fully accessible to all of our members. If you feel you will require extra support in order to take part in these elections, please contact the Elections Team at elections@eusa.ed.ac.uk.

You don’t need to have been involved with the Students’ Association, NUS or student politics to take part in any of our elections!

You will get a budget of £30 if you’re running for a non-Sabbatical Officer position, and £90 if you are running for a Sabbatical Officer position. This is the only money you can spend on your campaign to make it equal for everyone.

You can order printing directly through the Students’ Association but if you want to print posters and flyers through an external company or buy additional promotional materials you’ll need to spend your own money, keep the receipts, and submit an expenses claim to be reimbursed. Please note we cannot reimburse money without a receipt so make sure you keep hold of them!

If you have any questions you can pop into the Student Representation and Leadership Hub in Potterrow or email elections@eusa.ed.ac.uk.

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