Writing a Manifesto

What is a Manifesto?

When you are running in the election, your manifesto will be a source of information for potential voters to see if you are the candidate they want to vote for. It will help convince students that you are the best candidate by potentially showing them relevant areas that you care about what they want to see changed. It will also outline the expectations of you should you win the election, outlining what you want to achieve. It is useful to know that your manifesto and campaign poster are two different things. The manifesto is purely text which you upload to the election site. This will be on the website in a text form, with your photo and included into the manifesto booklet. Your campaign poster can be colourful and designed and pull key poitns from your manifesto.

Why is it important?

A manifesto tells people why you want to represent them and why they should vote for you; it sets out your ideas and plans. Your manifesto needs to say why you think you would be a good elected representative and what you would do if elected.  it will also be a source of accountability should you be elected. Students will be able to see your progress in your role in accordance to what you promised to do in your manifesto.

You’re required to submit a manifesto as part of the nomination process.

Please ensure your manifesto follows this format:

  • Who am I? 
  • What do I want to do? 
  • Why should you vote for me? 
  • Slogan/hashtag 

to upload your manifesto, visit the page you nominated on 

Getting started!

Introduce yourself: You need to think about why you are running in the election, and why you feel you are the best person for this position.  Draft something to get you started, using the pointers below and just get words on paper, it doesn’t matter if your first draft is bad as you will have time to improve this. It is useful to get feedback from your friends, course-mates, other students and constantly pull their advice and guidance as feedback. You can also contact current officers and/or staff about specific ideas, to see what has already been done or what is currently going on at TLSU

Use concise, straightforward language, and keep things brief: Your manifesto is your opportunity to tell your peers why they should vote for you. It should outline who you are, what you will use your role to achieve, and the changes you aim to bring to TLSU. Think about where your manifesto will be displayed; would you stop to read it while walking by or scrolling through Facebook?

Do your research: Do the changes you pledge to make appeal to a diverse range of voters, or just your social circle?

Be realistic and precise: Your term in office will last for 1 year are your manifesto pledges achievable in this timeframe? What steps will you take towards your goals?

Communicate your skills, experience, and personality: Show voters who you are! What roles have you held before? How does your previous experience you the best candidate?

Proofread! Make sure your manifesto reads well and is free from spelling mistakes. Use the spellcheck function on Word, ask a friend.

Keep the focus on you: You have a limited number of words; use them to promote yourself rather than discrediting other candidates.

Ensure your manifesto is portrait!

Think about students! 

Top ten tips:

  • Start with what you want to change.
  • Think SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound).
  • Describe the benefits of your ideas
  • Talk to current Officers and students.
  • Include something for everyone.
  • Use clear language and grammar/spell-check.
  • Be creative.
  • Don’t get carried away or waffle to fill space.
  • It’s about you and your relevant experience not your opponents.
  • Repeat your name and ask for their vote.

Manifestos are an important part of the election – in 2017, 33% of student voters said they voted for a candidate because they agreed with their manifesto (compared to 9% who voted for them because they spoke to them in person), so it matters a lot!