The third and final day of the 2022 SRC and NUS Elections has ended. Voting booths at Fisher Library and Jane Foss Russell Building closed at 5:15pm, with campaigners walking voters over the line until the final few minutes. Those at Manning and the Conservatorium, which received lighter foot traffic throughout the day, closed earlier this afternoon, at 3:15pm and 3:30pm respectively.
According to SRC Electoral Officer Riki Scanlan, 1911 votes, including online absentee ballots, were casted over this year’s SRC Council and NUS Elections. This marks a drastic decline from last year’s Council election, being equal to a third or 37.4% of 2021’s total when 5103 votes were received.
Exit polling analysis
Honi exit-polled 1149 votes over all three days of voting combined this year.
This gives our exit polling a 2.3% margin of error. However, roughly 100 online votes were cast and of course were unable to be exit-polled.
Left Action (SAlt) has amassed the largest share of total exit polling votes for a single faction over all days of voting, or approximately 19.2%.
Today saw Grassroots win back a substantial proportion of Left Actions’ lead over the previous two days. They recorded 99 exit poll votes, 15 more than the day’s second highest (Left Action with 84), and the highest recorded number of votes for a single day during this election.
Grassroots received the second largest share of exit polls overall (16.3%), followed by Switch (11.4%), Amplify (9.7%), Student Left Alliance (9.2%), Engineers (6.5%), and Lift (5.4%), Stand Up (4.4%), Artistry (3.7%), Gymbros (2.8%), Independents (2.3%), Colleges (2.2%), Lefties (2.2%), Penta (1.8%), and INTERPOL (0.7%).
However, if Grassroots’ exit polling share for all three days is combined with that of sister faction Switch, Switchroots appear to have retained their stronghold over Council, with 312 votes combined, compared to SAlt’s 221.
Although not the official results, the exit poll data suggests substantial changes are at foot on campus’ political landscape, with former kingmaker Penta likely to take a record low vote count for at least four years, potentially standing below even joke ticket Lefties for SRC. With a potential beneficiary in Left Action, who invested more campaigning energy into the international student vote (to the extent of breaching electoral regulations).
Following votes in the Conservatorium of Music, Artistry regained some traction in their stomping ground and increased their share of exit poll votes from 1.2% to 3.4%, putting them just slightly above the joke and independent tickets.
Some uncertainty looms over how online votes might differ from those cast in-person. Given strict lockdown conditions in some major cities in China, this demographic might be more inclined to cast their votes for international student representatives such as Penta.
Honi analysed the change in vote share by faction on day three compared with the average share for the preceding days.
Grassroots was the biggest winner, with a marked swing of 7.5 percentage points in their share of the day’s tally. Artistry also did well, absorbing an extra 5.6 percentage points of the total vote today, compared to Monday and Tuesday. That statistic is unsurprising given the faction’s dominance at the Conservatorium polling booth, which was open today but not on previous polling days.
Student Left Alliance received a small increase in vote share of 3.1 percentage points.
Engineers saw their share of the day’s vote fall quite substantially, with a reduction of 7.5 percentage points. This similarly is explicable given that PNR’s polling booth was supplanted by the (better attended) Engtoberfest today.
Amplify and Colleges experienced minor decreases in their share of the vote, both by 2.4 percentage points.
The SRC election is a multi-member preferential ballot, so Councillors are firstly elected on quota — put simply, when a ticket has enough votes to be elected outright without preference flows being required. After this process, preference flows are calculated and candidates with the fewest votes are excluded. This process continues until 41 councillors are elected.
Not accounting for preference flows and based on the total of votes casted over the 2022 SRC Election, councillors expected to be elected on quota according to Honi’s exit polling are as follows in order of election:
- Student Left Alliance (Angus Dermody)
- Student Left Alliance (James Sherriff)
- Student Left Alliance (Honey Christensen)
- Left Action 4 Climate Justice (Simon Upitis)
- Left Action 4 Climate Justice (Yasmine Johnson)
- Left Action 4 Climate Justice (Maddie Clark)
- Left Action 4 Staff Strikes (Deaglan Godwin)
- Left Action 4 Staff Strikes (Ella Haid)
- Left Action against Racism (Jasmine Al-Rawi)
- Left Action against Racism (Owen Marsden-Readford)
- Engineers for SRC (Emily Mackay)
- Artistry for SRC (Alexander Poirier)
- Lift for Environment (Thomas Thorpe)
- Amplify for SRC (Gerard Buttigieg)
- Gymbros for SRC (Satvik Sharma)
- Switch for SRC (Lauren Lancaster)
Tickets that are extremely close to our predicted quota and thus are expected to be elected on quota or through preferences are as follows:
- Amplify for Campus (Jasmine Donnelly)
- Grassroots for SRC (Lia Perkins)
- Grassroots for Climate Action (Tiger Perkins)
- Switch for Equity (Eliza Genevieve Crossley)
This brings our total predictions to 20 councillors, with the remaining 21 likely requiring further preference flows from tickets that surpass quota, or tickets who are excluded.
Based on candidates’ How to Vote (HTV) instructions, Honi has also calculated estimates of preference flows, although these make many assumptions about voter discipline (whether they follow HTVs or number their preferences past ‘1’). The following results are less reliable than the above, and reflect our estimates of the remaining composition of Council beyond those elected on quota.
Switchroots are estimated to gain four more councillors alongside Lancaster and Perkins, and will likely gain more than this due to their sheer numbers lending themselves to winning tight preference battles.
Engineers will likely gain one further councillor besides Emily Mackay.
Amplify are set to gain one to two more councillors alongside Donnelly and Buttigieg depending on preference flows — all Amplify tickets had similar numbers of exit polling results.
Independents and INTERPOL are likely to gain one councillor between them, as all of their tickets had low numbers but potentially one of their tickets will emerge victorious from preference flows.
Colleges, Lefties and Your Mum were all just below quota but do not have particularly clear sources of preference flows. The latter two, as joke tickets, will likely end up lower down on a number of ballots. Colleges are expected to gain preference flows from Lift.
Penta performed poorly in our exit polling, but similarly to independent tickets, they are likely to pool preference flows to a single ticket and be elected later in the count. They are also expected to receive a high percentage of online votes.
Stand Up is in a similar position to Penta and the Independents, not close to quota but still expected to get at least a single councillor elected based on preference flows.
Once again, the above analysis relies heavily on our exit polling being representative. It is completely possible that Honi’s samples were not entirely random, and our calculation of preference flows also makes a number of assumptions so take the above with a grain of salt.
Honi in recent years has not performed exit polling for Council, with previous elections focusing on Presidential and Honi ballots.
Honi did not perform exit polling for NUS ballots.
Over the course of the day, campaigns seem to spontaneously combust, as a number of tickets were issued formal warnings for breaching electoral regulations. The major factions landed in hot water for breaching the regs.
Student Left Alliance (SLA)
SLA received a warning after Honi confirmed that two non-students were caught handling flyers to a SLA campaigner, thereby breaching the regulations. According to the regulations, only currently enrolled students are permitted to handle campaign materials during elections.
Left Action’s Peter Gu was banned from campaigning for three hours today by the Electoral Officer for campaigning in Mandarin. This contravened the regulations against campaigning in a LOTE (Language other than English). Campaigning in another language other than English is prohibited unless an official translation is provided together with the non-English campaigning material. Additionally, Left Action campaigners reportedly told voters that voting in the elections was compulsory.
Similarly, Switch was handed a formal caution after word got back that SRC President Lauren Lancaster was hosting campaign materials for the brand in her office. No SRC resources may be used for campaigning, including the offices.
INTERPOL and Independents
The Independents, who initially expressed their opposition in-person campaigning at the start of the voting period, were finally spotted on Eastern Avenue today. However, contrary to the regulations, campaigners were spotted in unauthorised business attire instead of campaign shirts with appropriate authorisation.
Independents Inc. tickethead Michael Grenier also launched an Instagram campaign ad calling for students to vote out “the racist, violent and ableist dickheads from our university”, which potentially constitutes defamatory material.
The Electoral Officer and electoral team will be processing preference flows in the coming week. The ballot count will likely commence on Friday with final results set to be announced approximately a week from today.
In the immediate future, campaigners are expected to spend the night either partying or having a well-deserved lie-down.
Disclaimer: Zara Zadro is a member of Switch. Zara Zadro is not involved in coverage of the 2022 SRC Presidential, Honi Soit, Council and NUS Elections.