YUSU miss elections turnout target, lowest in half a decade

Image: Maria Kalinowska

This year’s YUSU elections saw a turnout of 25 per cent, the lowest since 2012, when 36.8 per cent of the student body voted, and five percentage points lower than their own target.

As voter turnout last year was three points higher at 28 per cent, YUSU hoped to gain an extra two percentage points this year.

The full-time positions are those that get more people to vote. In fact, if we consider the average number of people who voted for those positions with respect to all the others, we get a difference of almost a half, with 49.3 per cent.

As with last year’s results, the three most active colleges in the elections are Derwent (41 per cent), James (37.9 per cent) and Vanbrugh (32.8 per cent). Although Derwent, by the same percentage as last year, defeated Vanbrugh, which, after last year’s record of 44.5 per cent, lost 11.7 per cent of participants. All other colleges are on a roughly homogeneous average of 23.33 per cent, with a gap of almost seven per cent between Langwith (26.4 per cent) and Alcuin (19.45 per cent). Wentworth is the furthest behind, with four per cent turnout.

The four most active departments are: Natural Sciences (66.1 per cent), School of Social and Political Sciences (49.6 per cent), PPE (45 per cent) and History (44.3 per cent).

It is interesting to note that the two highest percentages are from very small departments, 41 and 113 students respectively – which does not help boost the total amount of voters. On the other hand, a department as big as Health Science with 1299 students counts only 4.3 per cent of turnout.

Millie Beach, current YUSU President, commented: “YUSU has consistently had one of the highest election turnouts of any student’s union in the country and this year is no different. Throughout the election we engaged with a huge number of students resulting in a 25 per cent turnout; no small achievement, particularly given that we were also asking students to consider incorporation and had very recently held a referendum on the NSS – in response to student demand.

“A very minor downturn in turnout is a trend we’re seeing nationally and so we will continue to work with students to make sure they know how important student leadership elections are and that elections are as open and as accessible as possible.”

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