Pat Mathewson was narrowly elected the next president of the Students’ Association last night, beating David Patterson by just 50 votes.
The news came at the end of a night that saw few shocks, with the results largely reflecting general expectations as well as most student media exit polls. Turnout was the highest ever numerically at 4,359 voters, although it fell as a percentage to 48.8 per cent, down from over 50 per cent last year. This year’s total electorate was 8,938.
The first position announced was AU president. With an initial distribution of 947, 521, 387 and 641 votes for Sarah Thompson, Jeremy Hipps, Andrew Van Kralingen and Cathy Pendreigh respectively, it had the potential to be close. The second- and third-preference votes didn’t fall in Ms Pendreigh’s favour, however, and her eventual 890 votes after three rounds of eliminations were not enough to see off Ms Thompson’s 1,238. Ms Thompson will be the third consecutive female AU president, following Jess Walker and Emily Griffiths.
Fay Morrice, running unopposed, was then elected director of student development and activities with a strong mandate of 1,892 votes to RON’s 245. Ms Morrice is the third female DoSDA in a row, taking up the role after Kelsey Gold and Meg Platt.
Ondrej Hajda won an outright victory in the race for director of representation, surprising some who had predicted a close contest with Ali West. But with 1,477 first-preference votes to Ms West’s 938, amounting to 59 per cent of the total, Mr Hajda’s win was decisive.
The four-way for director of events and services was much closer; after the initial distribution of votes there were just 46 in it between Leon O’Rourke and Lewis Harding. After several rounds of eliminations that saw Campbell Anderson and then Adetola Akanbi-Onasanya knocked out, the eventual result was equally slim: 1,101 votes for Mr Harding but 1,167 for Mr O’Rourke.
Lastly, it was the turn of the candidates for Association president. It was always going to be close between Pat Mathewson and David Patterson, and the votes reflected this: 1,283 to 1,210, plus 421 for Noah Ohringer. After Mr Ohringer was eliminated, the final count stood at Mr Patterson, 1,366; Mr Mathewson, 1,416.
Check out our elections hub for interviews with the winning sabbatical candidates, coming soon. A full list of results can be found on our elections liveblog. You can also watch our coverage of last night’s results below.