Between the voter turnout, the number of candidates, and the rain, everything seemed to be coming down for this year’s SRC election. With how to votes left to disintegrate on Eastern Ave, the counting quickly revealed that Chloe Smith from National Labor Students (NLS) had won the presidency, while Scoop triumphed in their bid to take over the editorship of Honi Soit.
Smith’s election is unsurprising: she was barely opposed after all three Labor factions (NLS, Student Unity and Sydney Labor Students) united with Grassroots to support her. The only other name on the presidential ballot was that of independent Cameron Caccamo, who received 719 votes to Smith’s 1910 (519 votes were informal). Although Caccamo mustered an online campaign, he had little presence on the ground. The point of his candidature remains unclear, perhaps even to Caccamo himself, given that he ran only because “it seemed like a good idea at the time.”
Smith will return the presidency to a Labor faction after it spent this year in the hands of Kyol Blakeney, a member of Grassroots Left. She will follow a long tradition of Labor ownership over the position: before this year, Labor students held the presidency for fourteen consecutive years.
The Honi election was a (relatively) tighter affair, with Scoop securing 1758 votes to Strip’s 920 after the jocular Horse ticket was excluded from the count and preferences from their 311 primary votes were distributed.
When asked about the election, Tom Joyner from Scoop told Honi, “It’s a genuine surprise. Strip campaigned hard. It’s the combination of years of pining for this gig. Everyone on the ticket is absolutely deserving.”
At the time of publication, the exact make up of USyd’s 33-seat SRC is still to be decided. Likewise, USyd’s prospective National Union of Students’ delegates will have a nervous wait, with counting for that election yet to begin.
Notably, just 3213 ballots were cast in this year’s SRC election—the lowest voter turnout in 5 years, and a drop off of more than 25% from last year’s count of 4326. Speculation as to the cause is rife: the weather, the sense of a lack of contest, and decisions to replace vibrant colours with pastels all may have played their part.