How to write a manifesto

Each candidate should provide a statement (manifesto) setting out their main objectives for the year. The manifesto is a document that says who the candidate is, why they are standing for election and what they intend to do, should they get elected. It is viewable on from the time voting opens, to those who are eligible to vote in the election.

  • Make it something like a CV or a job application, pointing out to other students why they should vote for you, why you’re the best person for the job. 
  • Make sure that what you write is relevant to the role that you’re standing for and that you show you know something about what the role entails.  (This may involve talking to someone to get information.)
  • Manifestos for all elections must not be more than 500 words long, but this is a limit, not a target. In some elections, such as activity group committee elections, shorter manifestos may be better, so keep to the point, and don't waffle.
  • Don't include inappropriate references e.g. to alcohol consumption or disrespectful behavior.
  • Don’t be overly modest, you’re trying to sell yourself, but don’t be too boastful either.
  • Don’t make untrue claims.
  • Make sure you spell-check what you’ve written.
  • Add a photo when you upload the manifesto, it helps! It must be a clear image of you and only you. Make sure your photo contains nothing inappropriate!


The only elections in which you are allowed to spend any money on your campaign are the following cross campus elections where all students vote:

  • SU Officers
  • NUS Delegates

You may campaign in other elections but you MUST NOT spend any money in doing so. (This is to ensure that people don’t get elected just because they have lots of money to spend on their campaign.) 

There are still several things you can effectively do to promote yourself.

If you are thinking of standing for election and want to know how you can improve your chances of success, here are some tips and ideas you might like to think about.

Use social media

Use of social media is really popular during elections. Tell your contacts why you would be a great candidate; get people to change their profile picture to a message to encourage their contacts to vote for you, upload pictures, start a group or a page etc. See if you can get your name trending on Twitter, create your own webpage, use QR codes, whatever you think will reach out to your fellow students.

Make a film

Its increasingly common for candidates to create a quick movie showing themselves talking about why they would be the best to put on Facebook, YouTube or other handy places. Some candidates have sung along to favourite songs or copied famous movie scenes. The Students' Union Marketing office has 3 easy-to-use Flip cams that are free for students to use, email SU Marketing at if you would like to borrow one to make your own film!

Organise Hustings

‘Hustings’ is a term used in elections to describe an event where all the candidates get together to answer questions by the voters. If you are running as an Academic Rep, you could ask your departmental office if they might help you organise and promote it or the academic rep staff in the SU ( You can do one in your club or society at one of your regular meetings or events. It’s a great way to see what the other candidates are talking about and to sell yourself.

Talk to voters

Engaging with the electorate directly is the best way to get people onside and remember to vote for you.

Get your friends involved

Your friends can be an excellent network to encourage their network of friends to vote for you as well. University is a relatively small place and everyone is connected through friends, cohorts, club and society groups, etc.

There are lots of ways to encourage other students to vote for you, these are just a few ideas to get you thinking.