Here you'll be able to find everything you need to prepare for a successful voting period.

Voting stage

Here you'll be able to find everything you need to prepare for a successful voting period.

Stage 3: Voting period (for candidates)

The voting period is one of the most exciting parts of the Elections.
This is where students cast their votes, and at the end of voting, the winners will be announced.


As exciting as this is, it’s also a busy week for candidates, so on this page, you’ll find everything you need to prepare for a successful voting period.


Voting week officially begins at 10am on Monday 1 March. This is when voting opens and students can begin to cast their votes. Remember to cast your own votes (yes, you are allowed to vote for yourself!).

The voting period is your final chance to convince students to vote for you, so make sure to plan your campaign to reach as many students as possible during this time. For further information about campaigning, please see the campaigning page.


Elections drop-ins

To help you get ready for voting week, there will be an informal drop-in session with the Elections Team on Monday 1 March at 10-11am (on MS Teams). It’s a chance for you to ask last-minute questions, speak to a member of staff and set yourself up for the voting period.

We know all the campaigning can be exhausting, so we’ve also scheduled some informal drop-ins on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 10am. The drop-ins are held on MS Teams, and you can pop in at any time between 10am and 11am. You can ask questions, have a chat with the staff team and relax with the other candidates before another day of campaigning begins.


Candidates’ debates

Around this time, we’ll also be hosting our candidates’ debates. Although voting doesn’t start until the first week of March, campaigning ramps up a bit earlier with the BLSA Debate on Thursday 25 February. The BLSA Debate is focused on BLSA positions and cross-campus positions. If your role is included in the BLSA Debate, you’ll receive an invitation with further instructions.

On 1 March, we also have the Executive Officer Debate. If your role is included in the Executive Officer Debate, you’ll receive an invitation with further instructions. Even if you aren’t invited to take part in the debate, we encourage you to attend, as it’s a good opportunity for you to ask questions and decide who you want to vote for.


End of voting and results

Thursday 4 March is the final day of voting, so there’s lots going on. Voting closes at 4pm. While the Deputy Returning Officer gets started on the vote count, all candidates are invited to an informal debrief at 4pm. The debrief is a space for you to relax and unwind after a busy week – and it helps you pass the time while we’re waiting for the results. It is only a couple of hours from the end of voting until the results are announced, but we know it can feel like a very long wait!

At 7.30pm, the results announcement starts. The exact format of the announcement will depend on the Covid-19 restrictions that are in place by then, but for now, we’re planning for this to be held as a fully online event. If this changes, we’ll contact you directly.

The results announcement marks the end of the voting week. Regardless of the result, we recommend that you plan some self-care time in the following days. You’ve worked hard, so take some time to relax and reflect on your experience. The staff team are always happy to schedule a call if you need a debrief – email us on su-elections@qmul.ac.uk to schedule a call.

All Queen Mary students can vote online at qmsu.org/elections. To vote, you will need to log in to the website using your University username and password.

For some positions, voting is only open to a particular group of students, for example only students in the School of Geography can vote for the School of Geography Representative. For most of these positions, the system will automatically allow you to vote, however in order to vote for our liberation representatives, you will need to manually self-identify through our elections page. To vote for these positions, you must self-identify as a part of the community that is being represented. These roles include:

  • BAME Reps (Mile End and BL)
  • Women’s Reps (Mile End and BL)
  • Disabled and SLD Reps (Mile End and BL)
  • LGBT+ Reps (Mile End and BL)
  • Trans Rep (cross-campus)

The voting system the Students’ Union uses is called Single Transferable Vote (STV). Under STV, voters are asked to rank the candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3, etc). You can include as many or as few of the candidates as you like, but you can’t give more than one candidate the same ranking. For each election, there is also the option to Re-open Nominations (R.O.N.) -- you can select this in your ranking if at any point you do not think any of the remaining candidates should be elected and think that nominations should be reopened.

Once voting has closed, the votes are counted in stages. At each stage, the candidate with the lowest number of votes will be eliminated and the votes for that candidate are transferred to their voters’ next preferences. This happens until all votes have been reallocated and a winner is elected. In order to win an election, a candidate must win over 50% of the vote.

You can learn more about STV and how votes are reallocated here.


Voting from mobile devices (e.g. phones, tablets or laptops)

Students can use a range of mobile devices to vote in the elections. When they do this, their device technically counts as a polling station. As stated in the election rules (Section 5.1.5 of the Election Bye-Law), candidates and their supporters are not allowed to campaign near a polling station, so if someone is using the mobile device to vote, you should step away and allow them to vote without interruptions.

We know voting week can be a very intense experience for candidates. You’ll probably be campaigning intensively, there are lots of events and activities going on, and waiting for the results to be released can feel very nerve-wracking.

While it is to be expected that you’ll have plenty to do and think about this week, it’s also important to look after your wellbeing. To make the experience as stress-free as possible, we recommend that you:

  • Plan ahead. Get your campaign plan for the voting period ready well in advance, so you have a clear plan for what you need to do every day. Think about whether there are any tasks that can be done before campaigning starts, so you can get them out of the way early.
  • Delegate to your supporters. Once you’ve made your plan for voting week, it’s a good idea to think about the things you’ll need help with. Talk to your supporters ahead of the voting period, so they know what you would like their help with.
  • Don’t forget about your other commitments. You may still have academic commitments, family commitments and maybe paid work or volunteering. If you can, it’s a good idea to consider what you can prepare before the voting period – for example, you may want to get an early start on your academic work, so you don’t have to write essays and prepare for assessments during the voting period. It’s also a good idea to inform those around you about the voting period, so they know that you may take longer to respond or may not be available to help. You can also consider if you can move your shifts at work or volunteering.
  • Make time to relax. It may seem unnecessary to schedule time to relax, but it can be helpful to have set some time aside to relax at the end of the day. Everyone needs a break once in a while, so allow yourself some time to do something you enjoy and find relaxing.
  • Reward yourself and your supporters. Even if you don’t win the elections, you’ll have achieved a lot. You’ll have challenged yourself and learnt new skills, and that is something to be proud of! A simple way to recognise this is to schedule a (virtual) social with your supporters. Remember to thank them for their help.
  • Seek support. The Elections Team is here to help, so don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need some support. Each day during voting, we’ll be available for informal drop-ins, and we hope to see you at some of these. You’re also welcome to contact the current Executive Officers. All of them have run in the elections before, so they have first-hand experience of what it’s like to be a candidate.

Contact Us

Representation & Democracy Team