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More about ballots and fly-sheets

Ballots on elections

In an election, a ballot is held if there are more eligible candidates nominated than there are vacancies to fill. Each voter is asked to put candidates in order of preference. The single transferable vote (STV) system is used to count votes in such ballots of the Regent House (see the Single Transferable Vote regulations for details). Each candidate must receive a minimum number of votes (the quota), based on the number of votes cast and the number of candidates to be elected. If the voter's preferred candidate is elected or already has sufficient votes to meet the quota, their vote is transferred in accordance with their instructions. This process continues until candidates have been elected to fill all available vacancies

Ballots on other matters

The process for the approval of major decisions by the Regent House other than elections usually involves the following steps:

  • Publication of a Report;

  • A Discussion of the Report, when comments on the Report are invited and published;

  • A Notice by the Council in response to any remarks made at the Discussion;

  •  Publication of a Grace putting forward the recommendations of the Report for approval by the Regent House; and

  • Approval of that Grace if no notice of a request for a ballot or amendment has been received by 4 p.m. on the Friday next but one after the day of its submission.

A ballot may be held if, before that deadline:

  • A ballot is called by the Council;

  • A ballot is called by twenty-five members of the Regent House;

  • An amendment is proposed by twenty-five members of the Regent House. Unless the amendment is accepted by the Council or the Grace withdrawn, a ballot will be called and members will be invited to vote in favour or against the original Grace and the Grace as amended.


To enable members of the Regent House to make known their views on questions which are to be the subject of a ballot, members may submit a written statement (a fly-sheet) to the Registrary. Such statements should be signed by at least ten members of the Regent House and be submitted by 1 p.m. on the specified day. All fly-sheets are circulated with the voting papers, and also published in the Reporter after the proposals to which they relate have been voted on. More detailed information regarding the submission of fly-sheets is provided in Statutes and Ordinances.​