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An Election of Numbers | Exec Elections 2021

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Just over a week since the end of the climax of campaigning and the results, we want to look at the data, the voting stats, and conduct an analysis of the election.

The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used a lot over the past year, with society being radically changed overnight, and this election was by no means a normal election.

The first election LSU has ever had where all campaigning was done digitally, the campus was empty of posters and students campaigning for your vote. It was strange, for many they didn’t even know there was an election going on.

The Voters

A big thing that every year the Union looks at is how many students voted in the election. This year was no different, fewer students voted in this election than in living memory, with only 2514 voters – roughly 13% of the student population.

For comparison, in the 2020 election roughly 3000 students voted, and in 2019 roughly 6000 voted.

The impact of COVID-19 has been significant both for students, and the Students’ Union. It is no secret that fewer and fewer students were getting involved even before the pandemic. And sadly for many societies, COVID-19 has resulted in the closure of groups – we hope not permanently.

Stage of Study

14.77% of undergraduates voted, the largest proportion of any group.

Only 2.64% of Masters students voted. This is largely expected every year, as many Postgraduate Taught students tend to be present at Loughborough for only one academic year, and as a result, tend to not care as much about the Students’ Union and what it provides.

Despite the significant amount of questions and concerns that the Doctoral Presidents’ Team presented over the course of election week, only 179 Postgraduate Researchers voted in the election – 12.6%.

Sex

As a proportion, more females voted in the election than males. The University is split 60/40 male to female so this is not ultimately surprising, as there are just more men than women at Loughborough.

The Halls

Hall turnout is always high in comparison to the rest of the student population, and this can be contributed to the Hall Committees’ making a push for their hall to be the ‘winner’ of how many of them voted.

LSU Media recorded how many students in halls voted, and what day they voted on – we can very clearly see which committees pushed for voting, and which didn’t.

Faraday had over 100 of their hall vote on the first day of voting, with Robert Bakewell having a significant rise between the 12th and 13th May.
What is interesting here is that the President-Elect, Freya Mason, was until very recently the Hall Chair of Faraday, and this fact explains not only Faraday’s voting totals but also potentially explains her victory. Alternatively, Harry French did not turn out as much, and this potentially reflected on former Harry French Hall Chair Leon Dixon’s, and former Media Rep Cameron Glenwright’s defeats.
Elvyn Richards also saw a significant increase of voting between the 12th and 13th, bringing them from 10th to 3rd in a day.

Departments and Schools

The departments and schools’ voting was dominated by the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, with the first day of voting from SSEHS being more than Wolfson’s (2nd place) first two days.

This is not ultimately surprising, Loughborough is a sporting University and SSEHS is the largest school.

The departments divided by their committees were equally stark.

The Candidates

LSU Media recorded the candidates’ social media followers on the first day of voting.

From the data we collected, there is evidence to suggest that the impact of the campaigning is present. The candidates that had more followers on the first day of voting ended up winning the election – there are no exceptions in 2021. This is something to look out for in 2022.

The Results

The below shows the results of the election as well as LSU Media’s exit polls. What is most notable in comparison is the overcompensation of RON in the Exit Polls – RON overall received less votes on average than predicted in the polling. This is not unexpected as those likely to vote RON are more active in the Students’ Union and on Twitter during the election especially.

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LSU Media Vice Chair 2020-21 LSU Media Chair 2019-20 Hall Media Coordinator 2018-19

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