Candidate Advice and Support


We understand that standing in the elections and planning your campaign can be daunting, but we're here to support you throughout your candidacy.


Below you can find key information, frequently asked questions, and links to our Candidate Guides. Candidates also receive regular email updates from the Election team with reminders and access to briefings to help you prepare.




Below are all the key dates and deadlines for the Student Elections 2021.


Please note that candidates for some positions - particularly Sabbatical Officer roles - may have additional deadlines, and you should ensure you read all emails relating to the Elections carefully in order not to miss anything.


  • What?




    Nominations Open

    All positions. 11/01 Online

    Nominations Close

    All positions. 17:00, 17/02 Online

    Candidates’ Briefing

    All candidates.

    12:00-13:00, 22/02


    Candidate list published on website

    All candidates.

    17:00, 22/02

    DEADLINE: Candidate portraits

    Sabbatical Officer candidates.

    17:00, 24/02

    Elections HQ, Potterrow

    DEADLINE: Key manifesto points

    Sabbatical Officer candidates.

    17:00, 24/02


    DEADLINE: Full manifesto

    All candidates.

    17:00, 24/02


    Campaigning Opens

    All candidates.

    12:00, 03/03


    Sabbatical Officer Candidate Question Time

    Sabbatical Officer candidates.

    18:00-20:00, 06/03


    Voting Opens

    All candidates.

    10:00, 08/03

    Voting Closes

    All candidates.

    17:00, 11/03

    Results Night

    All candidates. 18:00, 12/03 TBC 




These guides have been developed to give any candidate the information they need to plan an effective campaign.


Research shows that candidates who actively engage with the guidance and support offered by the Students' Association during the preparation period are far more likely to be elected, so if you'd like to meet with a relevant staff member to discuss your candidacy, please email


Click on the images below to read the Guides.





Can I stand as an international student?


International students, including those on Tier Four visas, are eligible to stand for all roles in our Student Elections. If elected to a Sabbatical Officer role, the University will continue to sponsor your visa for up to two years, in order to enable you to hold the position. You can find out more here.


What do I need to do as a candidate?


How much time you dedicate to campaigning is up to you, but the key to being a successful candidate is explaining to eligible voters why they should vote for you. You can do this by completing your online candidate profile with a photo and manifesto, producing posters and flyers, and posting on social media letting people know you're standing.


What should I put in my manifesto?


Check out our Candidate Guide on creating your manifesto for advice on what to include, and how to format it in a way that is engaging and accessible. If you would like to see manifestos from previous candidates please email


How can I upload my manifesto?


Once your nomination has been approved, you will be sent a link where you can upload your manifesto and photo.


What should my posters and flyers say?


Check out our Candidate Guide on creating posters and flyers for advice on what to include on your printed campaign materials.


What should I use to make my posters and flyers?


You can create basic posters and flyers in Microsoft Word, but for more complex designs, many candidates use website like Canva which have hundreds of templates to choose from. If you want to use a programme like Photoshop, the University's Digital Skills Resource Finder has links to both online and in-person courses on using design software.


How can I get posters and flyers printed?


If you want to produce printed materials you have four options:

  1. Print them using your own printer, or a printer belonging to one of your friends: This works well for basic posters and flyers - just remember to keep any receipts for paper or ink you purchase as part of your campaign, as these can be claimed back through our candidate expenses process.
  2. Print them using Library printersIf you're only printing a small number of posters or flyers, and don't have access to a printer at home, then you can use the University Library's printing facilities. Just remember to keep a record of any print credits you purchase to print campaign materials, as these can be claimed back through our candidate expenses process.
  3. Print them through a commercial printing company: If you're looking for glossy posters and flyers then you may want to consider printing them through a commercial printing company - there are plenty in Edinburgh and online. Just remember to keep any receipts as these can be claimed back through our candidate expenses process.


Don't forget that you have a budget of up to £30 for your campaign (£90 for Sabbatical Officer candidates), and you cannot spend more than this.


Where can I display my printed campaign materials?


If you decide to print posters these can be displayed on Students' Association's noticeboards. You may also be able to put up posters and leave flyers in University buildings, but you should check with relevant staff to ensure you don't waste time putting up posters which are going to be removed.


If you're handing out flyers, you can do this across campus, but you should avoid areas where people are eating or studying, and be respectful of people who say they don't want to be disturbed.


What if I just want to run a digital campaign?


Lots of candidates choose to run entirely digital campaigns - promoting themselves on social media, and in emails.


Check out our Candidate Guide on social media campaigning for top tips on using Facebook, Twitter and other platforms to promote your campaign.


You could also ask administrative staff in your School if it is possible to send out an email to students about the elections, but if they do, the email needs to promote all candidates equally and can't simply promote your candidacy.


How can I make an election video?


If you're running a digital campaign, making a campaign video is a great idea as it gives you the opportunity to promote your campaign in a quick and accessible format. You can make a great video simply using your smartphone, but if you want something that looks more professional then you could see if any of your friends have a DSLR or video camera, or even borrow some equipment from the University


Once your video is ready you can upload it straight to your candidate profile and Facebook, or put it on YouTube so it's easier to link to on social media and in emails.


How can students vote?


From 10:00 on March 8th to 17:00 on March 11th, students can vote on the Students' Association website here and via MyEd.


How does the voting system work?


In terms of voting, voters rank candidates in order of preference, with #1 being their first preference and so on. Voters don’t have to rank all candidates – they can cast as many or as few votes as they like – so some people may just give one candidate their first preference and then stop, while others may rank every candidate.


If at any point in the voting process a voter thinks it would be better to re-open nominations and allow new candidates to stand, rather than any of the unranked candidates being elected they can vote for Re-Open Nominations (RON). In most counts RON will be eliminated first because it will receive the lowest number of first preference votes.


When it comes to counting, in order to be elected a candidate must reach the quota. The quota is the number of total votes cast divided by the number of seats available plus one. So, for most of the positions in this Election the quota will be 50% of the votes cast. We count votes in rounds, starting with first preferences, and move on to second, third, fourth etc. preferences until one candidate reaches the quota. In some cases there will be a clear winner, with one candidate being elected on first preferences alone.


If after the first preferences have been counted no-one has reached the quota, the candidate with the lowest number of votes is eliminated. All the voters who cast their votes for the now eliminated candidate will have their next preferences counted, and these votes will be redistributed across the remaining candidates. So if 10 students voted for the eliminated Candidate A, with 5 of them putting Candidate B as their next preferences, 3 of them putting Candidate C, and 2 of them putting Candidate D then those candidates would get those votes added to their existing total.


We continue to repeat this process until one candidate has received enough votes to get them over the quota.


What impact will COVID have on the Student Elections?


The Student Elections 2021 will go ahead as planned, but we do anticipate that the pandemic will have an impact, and would recommend that candidates plan for a primarily digital campaign. Closer to the time, we will issue specific guidance to candidates to ensure that everyone stays safe during the Campaigning and Voting periods.






Our elections are governed by the Students' Association's Election Regulations which you can read here. All candidates must abide by the rules set out in the Election Regulations and we would advise candidates to ensure they are familiar with the Regulations before beginning to campaign.


If you have any questions regarding your candidacy or campaign, please email