How to Write a Manifesto

Created by Sam Baran, Modified on Thu, 21 Sep, 2023 at 12:28 PM by Sam Baran

Your election manifesto is your chance to tell people why they should vote for you and what you'd do if elected. Essentially, your manifesto should state what you would plan to do in your time in office and what changes you would make. Take some time before you write it to think about what you believe you can achieve and what the voters would respond to. Whilst campaigning, meeting people, debates and promotional stunts may convince some voters, for many it is the candidates' manifestos that will help them decide who to vote for.  

Here are some top tips to consider when writing your manifesto: 

  • Be concise and use clear language. Avoid long, complicated words. 
  • Set out your goals for your time in office and ensure they are realistic & achievable – officers are answerable to the student body who might decide to ask why you’ve not managed to rebuild the Union building. 
  • Be relevant. There’s not much point telling everyone you like cute bunny rabbits when you’re standing for President. However, instances where you have shown leadership, tenacity, and tact would indicate to voters your suitability for the role. 
  • Be creative and inspiring. However, there are rules so make sure that you are not overstepping the mark. 
  • Your manifesto is about you and not about your opponents. Avoid discrediting and disrespecting others as it is not professional and ultimately it could lead to a libel lawsuit! 
  • Have a look through the role description for the position you're running for. What sort of things would be your responsibility if elected? These are the things you're most likely to be able to influence plus these are the things that people want to know about.  
  • People want to know why your good idea is such a good idea. One of your policies might be to improve lighting on campus, but make sure you mention that this will make people feel safer and reduce the threat of crime (they are thebenefits). 
  • Think about the different sorts of people that might vote in the elections and try to include something for them in your manifesto. People who are already involved in the union might be interested in different sorts of things than people who just pop into the bar from time to time. 
  • Ask around to see what students actually want, try housemates, people on your course, people in your society, people on the bus - you might be surprised at the ideas this generates. 
  • Your manifesto should be realistic - don't promise to lower prices and increase spending on everything, usually those two don't work well together! 

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