The election process
What format do the elections take?
Votes are cast online by going to http://www.glasgowstudent.net, or clicking on the link on every University computer. Polling opens at 9am on the first day of elections, and runs through the night until it closes in the afternoon of the second day.
How do people vote?
The voting system used is single-transferrable vote (see this useful Wikipedia article for details). This system can seem complicated but essentially it allows voters to number candidates in order of who they would most like to be elected, to least (1 is most). A certain proportion of the total votes is needed to be elected, and if this number is not reached once the votes have been distributed, the person with the least number of votes will be eliminated, and their votes will be redistributed based on who got a number ‘2’ next to their name on those ballots.
The voting system means that every vote counts, and that it’s essential to get people to vote for you as near to the top of the list as possible. The person who started with the most votes may not be the person who eventually gets elected. To see how this works in practise, click here.
What’s a heckling meeting?
A heckling meeting involves each candidate giving a short, 2-minute speech to the audience of students about who they are, what they wish to achieve in the position they are running for, and why people should vote for them.
There is then the opportunity for audience members to ask questions for individuals, or all candidates. Candidates will be given a couple of minutes to answer.
The idea of a heckling meeting can seem daunting to candidates, especially if it is your first experience of one before. However, the meetings are a great opportunity to demonstrate your ability to people. The chair of the meeting ensures that order is kept and that everyone knows when to speak and when to listen. The atmosphere is inquisitive but not in the least hostile.
Does it cost money to run an election campaign?
The most important part of anyone’s campaign is their manifesto: a document that describes who you are, what your ideas are, and what you think you could bring to the role. All manifestos will available online for people to read before voting.
Many people also choose to print posters to place around campus (guidelines for this can be found in nomination packs), and hand out flyers to students on election days to encourage them to vote.
It’s not necessary to spend a lot of money on campaigns, and there is not a correlation between the amount of money spent on a campaign and the success of it.