Voting has begun for this year’s Students’ Union elections, after a week of campaigning. We’ve been following the candidates’ progress to make our predictions of who will get the four paid jobs and the four volunteer positions.
We made the predictions after tracking the popularity of each of the Facebook groups set up to support the candidates’ campaigns. With the stereotypical bed-sheets and poster campaigns, the increasing popularity of Facebook makes it a viable way to monitor the change in support for the those standing in elections.
The numbers have been tracked from Monday, February 22nd to Sunday, February 28th. Facebook users can join more than one group, and membership of a group doesn’t equal voting for that person. Despite this, the size of the Facebook groups for the most important roles equal a massive 75% of the total number of votes cast for the same roles in the 2009 elections.
Phil Krstic, Jennine Fox and Jonathan Holmes all run unopposed for the positions of RAG Officer, Sports Officer and Liberation Officer.
Dec Ackroyd had a slow start to his campaign compared to Joe Hicks, but despite picking up his efforts during the week, he is still on only 35% to Hicks’ 65%. There has been very little change in these groups and Hicks’ increased presence on campus, including his large posters, make it likely that it will swing his way. Hicks currently has around twice the amount of members in his group compared to Ackroyd.
The race for Welfare and Diversity started the week quite close with a 55%/45% split in Kayleigh Taylor’s favour, which is not that significant. However, Taylor managed to increase her lead to 65%, with 143 members of Emily Gough’s group versus 257 people showing their support for Taylor. The latter is most likely to win but this could be quite tight call.
Dan Derricott and Ellie Marchant-Williams could have been in for a tight race, but it appears a lack of activity from Marchant-Williams has affected her levels of support. She was also the first person out of all the candidates to actually have lost members of their group and has only improved her number by three people since the start of the week. However, despite Derricott’s pride at attending the Hustings events at all campuses, it was not until Saturday night that he really built up a significant lead.
Andreas Zacharia’s massive Aladin banners on the Main Admin Building reflected his popularity — he has a huge 63% in these projections. The race for the Activities role has been almost static over the week in terms of share, so although all three candidates have built up more support, Katie Blackburn and Kat Walker both appear to have a low chance. They would need to significantly up their game to be in the running for the job. Andreas Zacharia also has the second highest number of members out of all the Facebook groups, with a very strong 529 people behind Chris Charnley’s 541 members.
The presidential race currently looks to be in Chris Charnley’s favour. He benefited from his existing awareness as SU’s current president, but Lucy Alborough has managed to create a decent level of support. The main change in this category was the withdrawal of Scott Pack and Dan Clewley on Thursday 25th. Neither of the withdrawn presidential candidates managed to start a decent campaign, with Scott Pack not even putting up posters at first, so this has not impacted on Chris or Lucy’s chances. Pack is also notable for having the lowest recorded number of people in his group, starting at 8 and building up to only 30. In comparison, the number of people in Chris Charnley’s group on Sunday (541) is more than the number of votes he received in the first round of voting of last year’s elections (498).
According to these predictions it is most likely that next year in office we will see:
- Campaigns Officer: Joe Hicks
- VP Welfare & Diversity: Kayleigh Taylor
- VP Academic Affairs: Dan Derricott
- VP Activities: Andreas Zacharia
- President: Chris Charnley
Find out how accurate these predictions are by following our live coverage of the results this Friday on our special elections page.
** See the data used for this analysis here. All numbers correct at time of publication.Tweet