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Friday March 16, 2007 10:25 by QR
Queens student uni election results
John Roger has been elected as the new President of Queen's Students' Union beating his nearest rival at the fourth stage by 310 votes. Roger, who had been put forward by the Christian Union, led the poll at all stages after taking 1,262 of the 3,296 first prefence votes (38.2%), with Claire Bullock getting 937 (28.4%), Neo, the first ever international student to run for President, getting 776 (23.5%), Michael Collins, running on a Socialist ticket got 281 (8.5%) and 46 votes (1.4%) for nominations to be re-opened. Re-open nominations and Collins were then eliminated which allowed Bullock to pull the margin down below the 300 vote mark. However, what she had gained from Collins, was wiped out by Neo's transfers with the final result reading 1,265 to 1,575 and with the elimination of Bullock, Roger was able to exceed the quota. Speaking after the announcement, Claire Bullock congratulated Roger and offered him the best in his new post, while Roger returned the favour and commended all the candidates who had taken part.
This disappointment for Bullock however was bitter sweet with her three running mates, Sarah McCaffrey, Ciarnán Helferty and Steffan Raferty, topping their respective polls. McCaffrey took 1,253 (44.2%) of the 2,832 first preference votes in the Deputy President race, just marginally ahead of her nearest rival, Roger's running mate and non-sabbatical officer for postgraduate students Michael Currie, who polled 1,157 votes (40.9%), while Michael Black, who also ran on a Socialist ticket, got 334 (11.8%) and 88 votes (3.1%) were cast to re-open nominations. There was little change in the standing after the elimiantion of re-open nominations which led to the elimination of Michael Black. Currie got more of Black's transfers than his rival but it was not enough and was eliminated on 1,315, 79 votes behind McCaffrey who was on 1,384.
As expected, Helferty gained a massive lead from the start taking 995 (46.3%) of the 2,150 first prefernce votes. His nearest competitor was Emma Reilly, the 'Better Union' candidate, who was over 330 votes behind him on 660 (30.7%), while Sabrina Sullivan, the Socialist candidate, almost 300 behind her on 393 (18.3%) while 102 votes (4.7%) were cast for nominations to be re-opened. Following the elimination of re-open nominations and Sullivan, Reilly clawed her way back, however was still beaten by Helferty who crossed the quota thanks to Sullivan's transfers, with the final tally being 1,092 to 864. In his speech, Helferty congratulated his team and said that he was looking forward to working with all those who had been elected.
Clubs and Services:
Again, the favoured candidate polled as expected for this position with Steffan Rafferty, the GAA candidate, recording 948 (43.4%) of the 2,185 first prefernence votes. This left him just under 300 votes ahead of his nearest rival, the 'Better Union' candidate David Cather, who polled 654 (29.9%), Chris O'Flaherty received 428 (19.6%) and 155 votes (7.1%), the highest for any of the positions in the election, were cast for nominations to be re-opened. Following the eliminations of re-open nominations and O'Flaherty, Rafferty increased his share further and crossed the quota with a margin of 22 votes.
As expected, the Education vote was the tightest contest on the night. Michál Harkin topped the poll with 706 (32%) of the 2,209 first prefernce votes, his nearest rival was Gavin Howell who got 534 (24.2%), marginally ahead of David McKeown who polled 510 votes (23.1%); Student Council Speaker and 'Better Union' candidate, Graham Barton, got 386 (17.5%) while 73 votes (3.3%) were cast for nominations to be re-opened. With the elimination of Barton, Howell was able to come to within 100 votes of Harkin while also increasing his lead over McKeown who was then eliminated. Earlier in the evening, McKeown had collapsed just before the declarations were to be made and had to be rushed to hospital, although it was later announced that he was doing well and had no serious problems. However, he was also to be at the centre of even more drama when his transfers were awarded, bringing Howel to just five votes short of Harkin 883 to 878; Howel was then eliminated with Harkin then being able to pass the quota through transfers.
Turnout for this year's elections are believed to have been one of the biggest ever recored with 3,627 students having voted, around 14% of the student population as a whole; while a crowd of up to one hundred people had also gathered at BarSub to hear the results. The poll which was held from 7am on Wednesday to 5pm on Thursday was the first to be held via Queen's On-Line and the decision to do so seems to have payed off. The seventeen candidates who ran for the five positions had spent the previous two days canvassing across the campus in an attept to secure as many votes as possible in what was, apart from a number of minor incidents, a clean and friendly election campaign.
However, two of the three main groupings were unable to secure a seat with the 'Better Union' and Socialist alliances loosing out to the Bullock-Helferty-McCaffrey-Rafferty pact who took three of the four positions they had contested. Meanwhile, the two main student grouping in the election have seemed to upheld their monopoly over several positions, with the GAA's Rafferty and the CU's Roger being elected to the long contolled positions of Clubs and Services and President repectively.