Disclaimer: Honi Editors Lamya Rahman and Liam Donohoe are not involved in any decisions or contributions to USU Board Election coverage.
We’ve arrived. Today, on one of the year’s coldest days so far, USyd will vote in its next five Board Directors. Election day is here—and the polls are open across campus. Honi will be taking exit polls right up until voting closes at 6:30 pm. The following two charts aggregate data gathered on Monday, Tuesday and today. They’ll update in real time as the numbers roll in.
Day 2 recap
Returning Officer Penny Crossley sent out a strongly worded email late yesterday afternoon, urging candidates to be more respectful of each other and avoid potentially hurtful personal remarks. This comes off the back of a minor spat on Eastern Avenue, which is largely based on ‘he said / she said’ allegations. Grassroots’ Maya Eswaran is alleged to have interrupted a conversation between two voters and two Finch campaigners, telling the voters that Finch is a Liberal. The two voters later told Unity’s Connor Wherrett, a personal acquaintance of theirs, that Eswaran had been “quite rude to them”, according to Wherrett.
In response, Wherrett allegedly loudly commented that Eswaran’s campaigners had been banned on Friday (due to a verbal fight between her campaign managers and NLS’ Bec Miller, over a preference deal). A Grassroots representative told Honi that Eswaran, who was within earshot, became upset about personal character attacks made on her by Wherrett, and took a brief break from campaigning.
Finch camp is largely staying out of the incident, having heard conflicting reports about the alleged incident, with “major inconsistencies” that made “it difficult to know what is accurate”.
At the end of Day 2, the results were more or less unchanged from the end of Day 1. Our polling added together data from Day 1 and Day 2, and had a sample size of 603 voters. Based on this data, Zimeng Ye retained an impressive lead, taking more than double the number of first preferences than Decheng Sun, her nearest competitor. Ye’s proportion of the vote did contract by about 4 per cent. This was mainly the result of a stronger performance by Mike Mao, who improved on his Day 1 vote by nearly three percentage points. In absolute terms, his share of the first preference vote was still small on 4.3 per cent. He and Daniel Lee remain the two poorest performers. The other candidates’ positions are similar to where they were at the end of Day 1.
Based on the total numbers at the end of Day 2, this is our projection for how the count would turn out if held now:
Count 1: Zimeng Ye elected, Decheng Sun elected (both break quota)
Count 2: Lachlan Finch elected (on second preferences from Ye)
Count 3: Daniel Lee excluded
Count 4: Mike Mao excluded
Count 5: Bec Miller excluded, Maya Eswaran elected, Connor Wherrett elected
On second preferences, Ye once again excelled in directing voters’ preferences where she wanted them: half of all her voters put Lachlan Finch second, following the suggested order on her how-to-vote cards. The only candidate who outperformed Ye on this point was Bec Miller: 56 per cent of her voters followed her how-to-votes’ suggestion to preference Connor Wherrett second. This reflected a three-way preference deal between Wherrett, Miller and Daniel Lee.
Maya Eswaran was less successful in controlling her preference flow. Only 35 per cent of her voters followed her how-to-vote cards to preference Decheng Sun second. Over 22 per cent instead preferenced Bec Miller, who—like Eswaran—identifies as “left-wing”. Miller is a member of Labor Left faction NLS, whereas Eswaran is a member of broad-left grouping Grassroots. Curiously, 10 per cent of Eswaran voters preferenced Lachlan Finch, who—though running as an independent—is associated with the Young Liberals.