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Voting in UCU's elections

31 January 2020

Voting in UCU's NEC elections

Under UCU's rules, all NEC, officer and trustee ballots are conducted by single transferable vote (STV). Voters are asked to rank candidates in order of preference (1, 2, 3 etc) until they can no longer express a preference for any candidate. A detailed explanation of STV can be found here.

Some candidates may have stood for election to more than one seat. UCU's rules set out on order in which ballots will be counted. Once a member has been successfully elected to a seat, their candidacy for any other seat will not continue. If a voter has expressed a preference for a candidate who is withdrawn from a ballot for this (or any other) reason, the next preference expressed by the voter will be counted. So a preference expressed for a candidate who might be declared elected in an earlier contest need not be a wasted vote, as this vote will be transferred to the next candidate supported by the voter.

The order of counting set out in UCU's rules is:

Rule 20.5  Ballots for election to offices that are to be taken up on the same date will be counted in the following order:

i.    Trustee;

ii.   General Secretary;

iii. Vice-President;

iv. Honorary Treasurer;

v.   Geographically-elected HE and FE  members;

vi. UK-elected HE and FE members;

vii. Representatives of disabled members;

viii. Representatives of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT+) members;

ix.  Representatives of black members;

x.   Representatives of migrant members;

xi.  Representatives of women members for HE and FE Sectors;

xii. Representatives of casually employed members;

xiii. Representative of members in land-based education;

xiv. Representative of members in prison education.

and after a candidate is successfully elected, votes for that candidate will be disregarded in subsequent elections.

Note that not all seats are up for election in each annual round of elections.

Sometimes ballots for casual vacancies are conducted over the same ballot period as the annual round of NEC elections. When this happens, casual vacancy ballots are counted after those for full term seats:

Rule 20.6   When a casual vacancy ballot is being conducted in the same ballot period as ordinary full term vacancies, ballots to elect members to full term vacancies will be counted first, in the order determined by rule 20.5. When more than one casual vacancy is being conducted in the same ballot period, casual vacancies will be counted in the order set out in rule 20.5. After a candidate is successfully elected to any vacancy, votes for that candidate will be disregarded in subsequent ballot counts.


Last updated: 17 February 2020