SU Elections 2017: Manifesto Writing

Joe Young - Politics Editor

So you’ve decided you want to stand in the SU elections. You’d be silly if you decided to do that, but didn’t write a manifesto.

“What is a manifesto?” we hear you cry.

Simply, it’s a list of what you’ll do if you win.

There are thousands of ways you can write them, but we’ll discuss three tried and tested classics.

The Issue-Based Manifesto

With this, you identify a number of issues, and set out how you will resolve those. You can identify the issues in many ways, ranging from personal experience to surveys to browsing Facebook.

An example of this is former UCLan SU Education Officer Tasmia Salim; she identified the BME attainment gap (the average gap in academic grades between white and black and minority ethnicity students)  as an issue, and made a manifesto point to work towards closing the gap.

The Vision-Based Manifesto

This sort sets out your vision. Rather than the above, where you discuss the methods you’ll use, the vision-based manifesto is more geared towards explaining your end product. A real-world example of this is the French President’s debate speech – “I, the President” – in which he explained how he would govern:

“I, the President, will create a gender-balanced Cabinet with as many women as there are men.

“I, the President, will pass a law giving local government more powers.

“I, the President, will engage in great debates, using our civic energy.”

A vision-based manifesto can be an extremely powerful tool as a motivator for change – President-Elect Donald Trump actually used one – he set out his vision to “Make America Great Again”.

The Heading-Based Manifesto

This is the most common type. It features a series of headings – normally three to five – and what you’ll do under them. Current Activities and Participation Officer Ed Evans used one, with the headings being:

  • Healthy UCLan
  • Communication
  • Varsity Hype
  • Clash of UCLans
  • Inclusivity in Sports

Under each of these headings, he wrote about what he would do in this area.

An advantage of this type of manifesto is that if you have weaker points, they can be dispersed amongst stronger ones with a suitable heading; rather than having a good point and an average one, they would fall under one good section.


Of course, there are other ways, but these are some tried and tested ways that work. You have until February the 27th to get your nominations in, so good luck, and Pulse Politics will be interviewing you soon!

About Joe Young 316 Articles
Joe Young has been involved with student media for a very long time now, holding posts within The Pulse, and Pulse Radio, as well as the predecessor of The Pulse, Pluto. He is currently Politics Editor of The Pulse, and Head of News of Pulse Radio. In 2016, he won the Media Award for Best Article for his coverage of the Fishergate Shopping Centre bomb scare.

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