All entries for Sunday 10 February 2008

February 10, 2008

TOMMO is the next President

“Tommo” Stuart Thomson is your next student President. With 1712 votes, he managed to beat all his other contenders in round one of the elections. Tommo managed to trounce Peter Ptashko’s “Nuts about Students” campaign with high profile publicity in places ranging from posters in buses to signs on roads. As a result, Ptashko, who’s this year’s current Union Education Officer ended up with just over half the votes Tommo received – 972. The other contenders, James Berragan – “The Right ‘Direction” and Phillip Woolley were much further behind with 290 and 267 votes respectively. Although an exit poll carried out by RaW indicated that Tommo was going to comfortably win, the size of his margin was not expected. In fact, he managed to poll more votes than the other three candidates put together, testament to a vigorous campaign. In the interview with RaW after his win, he said that that the campaign had been draining and he defended his election literature on the need to publicise himself.

However, Tommo who is this year’s President of Warwicksnow, was not joined by his two friends and fellow society members Nick Swain and James Marvin. Nick Swain had stood for Welfare Officer and had campaigned in his banana costume but this is believed to have caused a backlash amongst students, who decided to award Steph Jones the position instead, albeit after stage three of the single transferable voting procedure. As for James Marvin, his broken jaw that can’t have helped him in his quest to be Communications Officer was eventually beaten by his sole contender Mike Pidgeon, despite his entertaining silent campaign video. Pidgeon, who decided to feature a bird in his campaign managed to pull through with 26% more of the vote than Marvin.

There were other upsets in the night as well. It was widely believed that Zaw Erskine would win the post of Education Officer, but he was beaten by the Joe Kirby admirer but perhaps more substance over style driven Mohammed Surve – “Here to Surve”. RaW was told earlier in the evening that Surve was ready to concede defeat before the announcement. As it turned out, after polling 1257 votes against Zaw’s 857 in the first round, it wasn’t until stage 4 when Surve was finally declared winner with a margin of 456. Whilst Peter Thomas, who was one of the other candidates might be only mildly disappointed for taking fourth place, Ty Hayes, who stood for President last year, did not manage to improve on his performance, and must be devastated when he just about took third place in round one with 368 votes, miles behind the two frontrunners. In the financial world, Andy Glyde comfortably beat Ross Palmer to the Governance Finance Officer position. Glyde, having been this year’s Chairman of Union Council might be the needed continuity on next year’s Sabbatical team.

The post of Societies Officer was won by Lucy Reynolds, who bizarrely had come third place in the first round behind Dave Hodge and Matt Polson, but then went on to win after taking voters’ latter preferences. Finally pulling through in stage six, the girl who wants to ‘Change your socs’ has become next year’s officer who wasn’t particularly popular, but wasn’t divisive either. As for next year’s Sports Officer, Terry Marshall can content himself in a more emphatic first round win, although he wasn’t declared winner until stage five. It seems that students were willing to trust Marshall with their ‘balls’ as he requested in the Union Officer position with the most contenders.

Despite pledges by some of the candidates to get rid of Flirt, the atmosphere in the Union built up on Saturday’s election night. With the dress code for the Elections party Black tie, and RaW’s comperes Elections group on stage in the marketplace to present the results, there was a real attempt to bring some glamour to Union democracy – a real contrast to the Union AGM, when around 70 people turned up. Indeed, Tom Callow and the Elections Group can be pleased with the fact that they managed to increase turnout this year by 16%. However, this is still in contrast to the days of Union democracy when the Shadow Home Secretary David Davis was here. He said that 1,000 out of the small population of 1,800 students would vote compared to 3,000 out of 20,000.

There has been some controversy during the campaigns, with the University supposedly displeased by Tommo’s road signs telling people to vote for him (amongst his other slogans where he indicated he wanted to ‘crush some nuts’ and wanted ‘to make a good thing great’). What’s more, it has been rumoured that some of the candidates were close to being disqualified for breaking Union election rules – some were close to the £20 fine limit.

As for coverage of the election, student media was at hand to report the results live. RaW was played in the Union with live video feed until 10.30pm when the Flirt DJ took over. People were able to text in with their comments and watch the coverage on the Sports screen in Cholo. WTV also had a setup in Rococcos with a television screen both organisations had web streaming on their websites.

All eyes will now move to next year’s Sabbatical team, but with Joe Kirby and his crew still only half way through their tenure, they won’t be in control for a long time yet. Whilst there were some unexpected outcomes on the night, all the candidates can console themselves with the fact that nobody was beaten by their good friend R.O.N.

Sam Shirley
Head of News

Click HERE for the RESULTS Please note that they are provisional.

Please leave your comments below. What were you doing on the night? Were you a candidate – should you have won? What do you think of union democracy?

February 2008

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