Record numbers vote to elect Students’ Union Councillors

Record numbers of voters took part in this year’s Union Council elections with turnout more than doubled from 2008.

A total of 3,735 people voted this week, a massive increase on last year’s turnout of 1,650.

More than 90 per cent of voters cast their ballots through the online system, which was used for the first time in a Union Council election this year.

Union President Paul Tobin said: “I’m over the moon because not only did we beat last year’s record but we also set a target this year of 15 per cent and we beat that as well, thanks to the online voting.”

The winning candidates were announced in an awards ceremony in Fusion last night, where music was provided by Open Space.

The International Students’ Councillor was the most voted-for position, with a total of 643 votes.

The winning International Students’ Councillor, Mina Kasherova, was the candidate who received the largest number of votes overall, with 377.

Politics had 11 candidates running for council, more than any other department.

The councillors for Landscape and East Asian Studies had to be decided by a coin toss as the votes were tied.

Thomas Nixon was the winning candidate for East Asian Studies and Christopher Haines won the coin toss to become Landscape Councillor.

Tobin was delighted with the successful candidates.

He said: “I think the Council is in safe hands. There is a fantastic range of students, all of whom are determined to do their best.

“It is particularly good that international students feel a strong affinity to their Union of Students.”

Two candidates were penalised for cheating by using email distribution lists to appeal to a large number of voters.

Both Alexzander Swatton – who was standing for the position of Mature Students’ Councillor – and Samir Therroth – a candidate for Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE) Councillor – had 10 per cent deducted from their total number of votes as a penalty.

The penalty did not diminish Swatton’s success as he still received the most votes and was named this year’s Mature Students’ Councillor.

The Architecture Department, the School of Nursing and Midwifery and the School of Education, will be unrepresented on this year’s Union Council as no-one stood for election.

Tobin said: “We expected a low candidacy for Nursing & Midwifery.

“Architecture and Education were a disappointment but we hope to fill them. We want to get it sorted out as soon as possible.”

 

Additional reporting by: Leanne Rinne, Rachel Blundy, Mark Duell.

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