Thank God it’s Friday. Voting for the Leadership elections ends at noon today, as does the constant online and offline harassment from your potential future leaders!
At the time of writing there’s been a 34.28% turnout which translates into 6,246 students out of Imperial’s ca 16,000 students bothering to vote, amounting to a staggering 171,003 votes cast. Last year saw a 45.47% turnout which placed Imperial College at the top of the national democracy leaderboard. This year there seems to be a lower turnout in comparison to the last two years. As of yet we’ve officially fallen behind 2015’s numbers (there’s no point even talking about a comparison with 2016’s turnout which we’ve been behind since day one).
Though there is a possibility that Friday’s last minute voting spike will see turnout reaching or even surpassing 2016 and 2015 voter turnout, it is unlikely. Though marketing of the elections might be to blame in part, it is certainly also a result of the pool of candidates. There are only thirteen ‘real’ candidates and competition is much less intense this year, meaning campaigning on campus has similarly chilled out in comparison to previous years.
Looking at Faculty participation, we can see the Faculty of Engineering being so far the most involved, with 2,898 out of 7,509 students (38.6%) having voted already. The Faculty of Natural Science follows in a close second place, with 1,776 out of 4,938 student voters (36%). Looking at a departmental breakdown though, the Department of Undergraduate Medicine is in the lead (54.6%). This may or may not be a direct result of a potential medic takeover, with several strong medic candidates contesting the six sabbatical positions (excluding the ICSMU President). Consequently there is a strong possibility that next year, half of the sabbatical officers will be medics. The least involved Department is INSPIRE, a teacher teaching programme, which no one has ever heard about but is apparently a thing. None of the 18 INSPIRE students have voted so far. SHAME. SHAME. SHAME.
Results will be announced in Metric later this evening. If you’re stressing out, stop. I was going to close with something cheesy like “It doesn’t matter if you lose, everyone’s a winner when democracy works” but then again there’s so little competition you literally have a 50/50 chance of winning.