Student delegates have given a thumbs-up to Liam Burns after he won today’s NUS presidential election at the union’s national conference in Sheffield.
Mr Burns served as NUS national president for 2011/12, which means he now becomes the 37th president to serve concessive terms in the union’s 90-year history.
The Scot’s campaign for re-election centred on ending student poverty and fighting youth unemployment, which proved enough for voters to stick by him.
Earlier at the conference, Mr Burns had called on the NUS to focus on creating a long-term strategy in support of universal education.
The election can be seen as an endorsement for the policies Mr Burns put forward during 2011/12 such as introducing tenancy deposit schemes and securing a legal entitlement to offer financial support to single parents.
However the election, conducted under the alternative vote system, needed four rounds before a winner could be announced.
Mr Burns gained 387 of 720 votes in the fourth round of voting, beating closest rival and outgoing NUS Union Development Vice President Ed Marsh by 92 votes.
Mr Marsh had campaigned to unite the movement and had earned praise for a strong performance in the conference’s presidential hustings.
Kanja Sesay and Usman Ali were eliminated in the first and second rounds of the vote respectively.
The final ballot did not feature original candidate Claire Locke, president of London Metropolitan Students’ Union, who dropped out yesterday due to a clash with a job interview.
Delegates also voted to hold another national demonstration against the government’s education reforms.
The motion, which was received with rapturous applause in City Hall, means another demo will be held in 2012/13.
Elsewhere, the Vice Presidents of the NUS were also elected: Toni Pearce (Further Education), Rachel Wenstone (Higher Education), Dannie Grufferty (Society and Citizenship), Vicki Baars (Union Development) and Pete Mercer (Welfare).
Al Hussain Abutaleb, the only University of Sheffield Students’ Union councillor to stand for a presidential position, pulled out of the race to become VP Higher Education.
Complete National President Results (out of 720 ballots, quota needed = 360)
Round One: Burns – 302, Ali – 149, Marsh – 143, Sesay – 120, Re-open Nominations – 6 = RON eliminated.
Round Two: Burns – 303, Ali – 149, Marsh – 146, Sesay – 121 = Sesay eliminated.
Round Three: Burns – 335, Marsh – 185, Ali – 183 = Ali eliminated.
Round Four: Burns – 387, Marsh – 295 = Burns is elected, after exceeding the 50 per cent quota.