Close Election Sees 15% Of Students Elect New Exec

Close Election Sees 15% Of Students Elect New Exec

I, for one, welcome our new student overlords

A new OUSA Exec for 2022 was appointed over lockdown. The races this year were very close, with most races won by just a percentage point or two. 

Three of the races were a foregone conclusion: President (won by Melissa Lama), Finance & Strategy (won by Emily Fau-Goodwin) and Political Rep (won by Te Āwhina-Pounamu-Waikaramihi). All managed at least 90% of the vote against the sole, rather unconvincing opposition candidate, a Mr “No-Confidence” (how can you trust someone with a name like that?)

However, most of the races were incredibly tight, with most candidates taking home the W by only a percentage point or two.

Despite trying to harness the might of both the SUC and the Zucc, Daniel Fitzpatrick’s online-first campaign for Academic Rep fell short by just 33 votes — a single percentage point — to Caitlin Hancy, who took in 50.8% of the vote. This was also the tightest margin of victory for all the electoral races. 59 extra votes meant Tulsi Raman squeaked home in the Clubs & Socs Rep election against Elena Cruz — giving her a razor-thin 2.12% margin of victory. 

A similarly nail-biting race was seen in the three-way smackdown for Residential Rep: just 32 first-choice votes separated front-runners Patrice Le Sueur and Tat Mutingwende (with around 35% each), while Knox sub-master Rebekah Amitrano came in trailing with a very respectable 28% share of the vote. With second-choice preferences accounted for, Patrice emerged victorious, but only by 60 votes (2.18%).

Lily Marsh was elected 2022’s OUSA Welfare Rep, getting 52.97% of the vote to Anna Piebenga’s 47.03% — a difference of 165 students. Even the biggest margin of victory wasn’t exactly a blowout — continuity candidate Maya Polaschek took home 60.13% of the vote in the race against Antonia Richardson, but the difference was still just 548 votes (around the capacity of St Daves, pre-Covid). 

A seemingly huge 10.42% separated victor Ravneel Chand and Bible Lee in the race for Postgrad Rep, but seeing as only postgrad students were allowed to vote for this position, this meant just 43 students stood between Bible Lee and the eventual victor Ravneel Chand.

Similarly, while Malaysian Students’ Association President Sean Teow seemed to romp home in the race for International Rep with a 14.72% margin of victory — the largest of all the races — only 29 students stood between him and fellow Malaysian Kyra Butt, who campaigned virtually from the self-styled home of democracy itself (‘Murica). 

2021 showed more proof than ever that your vote really affects how OUSA is governed. And a free pro-tip: although a turnout of around 2,800 students was likely the highest for several years, trusting 15% of us (the nerdiest and most politics-studenty 15% of us) to decide on the future of your OUSA is probably not ideal. We’ll keep voting for the nerds.

This article first appeared in Issue 21, 2021.
Posted 1:35pm Sunday 5th September 2021 by Denzel Chung.