5,610 students (16.5%) have turned out to vote in this year’s Students’ Union Elections which closed at 5pm today. It is the lowest turnout since 2005 and bucks an otherwise upward trend. It has come as a disappointment to Union officers following last year’s recording breaking 7,756 turnout.
The incumbent Democracy and Communications Officer Danny Barry described this turnout as “slightly disappointing” and will review it in a debrief. Meanwhile, the incumbent President ‘Corcky’ believes that the turnout “is not connected to the shorter campaigning time” and that “because it was shorter this year, we are expecting a big jump next year, which is going to look good on next year’s Exec.”
Some students will be disappointed that Danny Barry will not be chopping his mop, having pledged that “the fro would go” if 10,000 students turned out. To reach that figure would have been a record in British Students’ Union history, beating Leeds’ SU which saw 8,549 students take to the polls at the start of this month. This figure surpassed Sheffield’s record by just 6 votes, where 34.2% of the student population turned out.
A number of reasons for voter apathy have already been levelled against the Union, including a poor standard of competition in some elections, the inquorate Big Ask and the fact that so much of the executive’s time this year has been spent reorganising the structure of the Union.