New Sabbatical Officers for 2021/22 announced

The new Sabbatical Officers are Abbie Hutchinson, Livia Scott, Briana Gordhan, Haris Nadeem Bashir, Fergus Mainland, Eleanor McCarthy and George Boatfield

Ella Williams
5th March 2021
In a predominantly virtual ceremony, the results of the 2021 student elections have been revealed. The newly elected team will succeed the seven current sabbatical officers in July and will be responsible for working with NUSU to represent students’ interests for the next academic year.

The elected officials for 2021/22 are as follows:

Abbie Hutchinson as President of the Students’ Union

Livia Scott as Education Officer

Briana Gordhan as Welfare & Equality Officer

Haris Nadeem Bashir as Activities Officer

Fergus Mainland as Athletic Union Officer

Eleanor McCarthy as Postgraduate Officer

George Boatfield as Editor of The Courier

A total of 21 students ran across the seven positions this year, as opposed to 29 last year. There was a voter turnout of 3047 students, down only 25 from last year despite this being the first ever online-only election.

The President and Welfare & Equality Officer roles were the most competitive, with 5 candidates in the running for each position.

Abbie Hutchinson led the presidential race from the offset, with a total of 933 first place votes. Though runner up Hussnain Shahid continued to hold a strong second place position, receiving 48 further second to fifth place votes from his initial 485, it was far from enough to catch up with Abbie’s initial lead. Thomas Bracewell received a burst of 43 fourth place votes in the fourth round, but remained decidedly behind Hussnain’s lead as runner up.

In the Welfare and Equality race, Briana held a massive lead of 832 first place votes, while all the other candidates had between 194 to 353. The runner up was Tinisha Osu, who received 23 further second and third place votes.

The Postgraduate Officer, AU Officer and Activities Officer positions were each a race between just 2 candidates, but nevertheless were extremely competitive.

The fight for Activities Officer was nail-bitingly close: Haris Bashir took the lead by a minuscule 4 votes, with a total of 936 as opposed to contestant Dylan’s 932 votes.

AU officer and Postgraduate officer winners Fergus and Megan both won by slightly larger margins.

The Education Officer winner, Livia Scott, achieved over double the number of first place votes as her contenders.

The Editor of the Courier role was highly contested, with 3 candidates running the the role following a drop out from Joe Molander last week. Dominic Lee came a relatively slim 156 first place votes behind winner George Boatfield.

Across all the votes, there were markedly fewer second to fifth place votes as in previous years; as such, every candidate that lead in first place votes went on to win, meaning that any other places did not impact the final results at all.

There is speculation that this change in voting behaviour may have been impacted by the new voting interface on the NUSU website. The interface of previous years required voters to type each of the candidates’ ranking into a blank box, while this year’s voters simply had to click on the candidate(s) in order of preference. Arguably, this made it less clear when voting that ranking the candidates was an option, rather than voters simply picking their highest preference. In addition, hardly any of the campaigns mentioned the ranking system at all, making this even less clear to voters.

More details to follow.

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