Candidate FAQs


Candidate FAQs

Below are some frequent we get from prospective and current candidates running in the elections - if you have any more queries, please do get in touch by emailing [email protected]

How to Nominate 

Go to northamptonunion.com/elections - you will need then just need to find the election that you want and there you can nominate yourself! 

Struggling to nominate yourself? Please read the below information carefully: 

  1. Ensure you are a member of the SU

If you have logged in but it is not allowing you to proceed, you will need to log this with IT to ask to become a member of the SU. See here for more instructions.

  1. After requesting to be a member

If you have requested to be a member before the deadline, and/or can sign-in but have other difficulties with submitting your nomination, we will accept your nomination by emailing the below information to [email protected]:

  •  You have requested to opt-in to being a member of the SU before the end of the nomination period, Sunday 24th, 5pm. You will need to provide evidence of this request by taking a screen shot of your request, or by forwarding the service request email. If you are a member and can sign-in, please note this in your email.
  • You have taken a screen shot of your attempt to nominate yourself, and what issue you have faced. This again needs to be done before nominations close.
  • You have emailed your manifesto and photo, again before nominations close.

Please provide evidence of these attempts, along with your manifesto and photo, all before nominations close on Sunday 24th at 5pm, and we can ensure your nomination can be accepted. All of this information needs to be sent to [email protected]

 

Hustings 

These are compulsory to attend, if you don't attend, you may be withdrawn from the contest.

The hustings will be chaired by the PResident, or a nominated deputy. When on speaking, candidates are only allowed to refer to their opponents in a factual manner. They should also concentrate on student-related issues, and are not permitted to make derogatory or personal remarks about other candidates, University staff, Union staff or individual students. Candidates must not make comments in direct relation to the content of other candidate's manifestos, however may do so in answering questions from the floor. 

Anyone is permitted to attend the hustings, but only members of the SU are able to ask questions. 

Voting Process 

Voting stations will be set up on both Waterside and Avenue campus. Details on locations and times will be detailed in the elections timetable. 

Voting will be by Alternative Transferable Voting (ATV) for single-vacancy elections, and Single Transferable Voting  (STV) for multi-vacancy elections. This is in accordance with the rules for the operation of transferable voting systems, as set by the Electoral Reform Society. 

Slates

A slate is a group of candidates that run in multi-seat or multi-position elections on a common platform. You may choose to run as a slate because you have similar ideas and proposals as someone else, or you  may just want the opportunity to brand yourself as a group! 

Running as a slate is permitted in the SU bye-laws, however it will mean you have some additional requirements to meet with regards to the elections: 

  • You must declare your slate at the Candidate Briefing. Filure to do so at the Briefing will result in you not being recognised as part of a slate. Subsequently, you will be banned for campaigning as part of that slate. 
  • Slates must submit a combined campaign team
  • Any sections issued based on campaigning issues shall be issued to all members of that slate. 

Campaigning and Canvassing

Campaigning of ant sort MUST NOT commence until aftr attending a compulsory Candidate Briefing. Candidates may spend their budgets, but no online or physical material must be visible until this time. 

Any online material must be declared to the Deputy Returning Officer via email so that it can be monitored. This must be done at the same time as it is made publicly available. 

Candidates must not make defamatory, unsubstantiated, or inaccurate statements regarding other candidates. They shall also ensure that any publicityy does not impine on the health and safety of campus users, and that it does not become a litter nuisance. Each candidate must ensure that elections publicity (principally but not exclusively their own) is cleared at the close of the poll. 

Candidates shall abide by the Union's Constitution and Bye-laws, the rules of the University and the law, throughout the elections process. 

Candidates will be held responsible for the conduct of their agents and supporter. Alll campaigners helping the candidate must be delcared to the Depiuty Returning Officer. All elections regulations shall apply to agents and supporters of candidates, and it is the responsibility of the candidate to ensure that anyone assisting in their campaign reads, understands and abides by these regulations. 

Manifestos of each candidate will be displayed on the SU website, however this platform may not be used for the promotion of individual candidates. 

Supervision of the Elections

  • Returning Officer 

The Returning Officer oversees shall be ultimately responsible for calling all Union elections and for their free and fair running.

The Returning Officer shall be a suitable person, who demonstrates the knowledge necessary to fulfil the role, and shall be independent of the Union. For clarity, the Returning Officer may not be a full member of the Students’ Union or a member of Union staff. The Returning Officer shall oversee all aspects of the elections process, and shall be responsible for the conduct of the count and the subsequent declaration of results.

The Returning Officer will submit a report on the conduct of the elections to the Student Council and the University following each election. The report shall where necessary identify what steps are required to resolve outstanding issue(s) and ensure future elections are free and fair.

  • Deputy Returning Officer   

A Senior Staff Member of the Union (or their nominee) shall act as the Deputy Returning Officer. The Deputy Returning Officer shall be responsible for assisting the Returning Officer in carrying out their duties.

Complaints, Appeals & Candidate Conduct

The Returning Officer shall be solely responsible for the interpreation of these regulations. The ruling of the Returning Officer shall be final. 

Requests for interpretation of these regulations, or complaints about the conduct of candidates, should be made in writing to the Deputy Returning Officer. 

The Returning Officer, aided by assistants if necessary, shall investigate all complaints and make adjudication according to the seriousness and complexity of the complaint. 

In the event of a candidate or slate being found to have broken one or more of these regulations, the Deptuy Returning Officer shall have the power to: 

  • issue a verbal or written warning
  • impose a fine on the candidate's campaign budget 
  • restrict the amount of publicity available to the candidate or slate 
  • disqualify the candidate
  • or take any other action as they see fit

In the event that a candidate wishes to appeal a decision of the Deputy Returning Officer, they must do so within 48 hours of the ruling, or 1 hour before the start of balloting, whichever is sooner. They should address their appeal to the Returning Officer in writing, whose decision is final. 

All rulings and interpretations made by the Returning Officer or the Deputy Returning Officer shall be posted on the SU website. Candidates are expected to consult this regularly.