SRC election pre-poll exit poll results: Stand Up and Time set to come out on top
Between 10:15am and 3pm today, for the first time, Pulp Media sent out reporters armed with clipboards to conduct an exit poll at the pre-poll booth outside of the Student Representative Council office on City Road, prior to Wednesday’s and Thursday’s final election days university-wide.
As expected, many voters were campaigners and students overly enthusiastic to exercise their democratic rights. Surprisingly, however, an overwhelming percentage of voters appeared to be college students eager to vote in the Honi Soit election, at times extending the pre-poll wait line down City Road, with yellow Time for Honi how-to-votes in tow.
Each voter was asked to complete four ballot papers (SRC President, Honi Soit, SRC Representatives and NUS Delegates) and at any given time, there were two or three campaigners to a potential voter. Some voters left due to the long line, however, Pulp has been able to capture a snapshot of the 2016 election and predict some of the results of the coming days.
Initial first preference votes show a heavy swing in each ballot for particular tickets so in our breakdown spreadsheet, we have divided the votes to analyse correlations between different elections. At the top are Presidential candidates Isabella Brook and Georgia Mantle, with each breakdown illustrating where voters had voted in the Honi Soit election and the SRC Representatives/NUS election.
At a glance, it appears that the Stand Up and Ignite brands have been incredibly successful in getting up Isabella Brook as preferred Pres candidate, with 54.6% of the vote, while Power’s Georgia Mantle held onto just 34.1% of the vote. Labor Unity and NLS ticket Stand Up fetched Brook 105 first preference Presidential votes, with 26 of a total 35 Ignite SRC voters preferencing Brook for the position. Funnily enough 11.3% of voters did not vote/disclose their votes to us for the Presidential election, no doubt skewing these votes.
Assuming Stand Up holds up their end of the bargain this year, Ed McCann is set to become the 2017 SRC Veep, with Brook as the Commander-in-Chief. However, it should be acknowledged that in the past Grassroots have pulled large numbers in the last days of polling (see 2016 Union Board pre-polling exit surveys and final results), and with the margin of 62 votes between Brook and Mantle, the election can still go either way.
This is perhaps the most interesting election to analyse, with Time for Honi being the first punters in recent history coming out on top with a non-circle logo and Liberal/college main voter-base. If today’s polls are a good representation of votes in the following two days, Time will win by a landslide and Wet for Honi will be excluded first. Wet voters did not seem too interested in preferences, so while Sin for Honi received 8 to Time’s 5, Time was still the preferred ticket regardless of redistribution.
Interestingly, 32 of 87 of Sin’s second preferences were given to Wet suggesting a large percentage of voters today were following their How-To-Votes which instructed students put Wet second despite the rival ticket not reciprocating the preference.
Despite Time’s result in our exit poll, we are aware college residents were told to come out to pre-poll in full force today and the overwhelming number of college voters is most likely unrepresentative of upcoming days. If Time were excluded, given the proportion of Wet to Sin votes remained the same, their second preferences would see Wet be elected despite their polling significantly less than Sin.
From second preferences, we can see the bad blood between Time and Sin will make a significant dent in the latter’s chances. 115 of 146 Time voters preferred to have no preferences, while 30 listed Wet second. From this we understand, that if today was election day, Time would have the majority. However, it is very likely that preferences come into play this election, meaning that Time and Wet are most in competition.
NUS and SRC Reps
For sake of our sanity and time efficiency, we counted NUS and SRC Rep votes through major brands rather than listing all tickets going for these positions, giving an indication of visibility among the community. Usually the representation of factions in this group are reflective of each other so there’s no point in separating both. A large number of students filling out the exit poll told Pulp Media they couldn’t remember who they voted for on the SRC ballot or didn’t bother with the A3 sheet as it was intimidatingly long, skewing the accuracy of this exit poll. Another large group that didn’t fill it out were Time voters who also left the Presidential ballot uncompleted.
The Stand Up/Ignite coalition look set to make up a majority of next year’s SRC Reps and NUS according to today’s polls. However, it is expected that there will be a surge in Power and Left Action support on Wednesday and Thursday as we have noted, historically, Grassroots troops come out in full force only on polling days.
Room for error?
Pulp managed to poll 302 of 580+ potential voters today. In addition to voters missed between 10:00am and 10:15am, 278 students coming out of the SRC forecourt declined to be polled or slipped past us, although this number also includes students who may not have voted and SRC staff.
On our exit polls, we asked students whom they had preferenced in the elections for SRC President, Honi Soit and which major SRC/NUS brands they had voted for. Many declined to go into detail on preferences, and others, namely bigger campus figures, avoided disclosing their entire votes, despite each poll being anonymous.
In counting the exit poll ballots, we excluded 20 voter whose responses were unable to be understood.
Today’s overwhelming college turnout no doubtedly has skewed the accuracy of our exit poll not only for Honi results, but also for the makeup of SRC/NUS reps. While numbers for Isabella Brook show she will most likely remain the preferred Presidential candidate by a smaller margin, fewer Time voters will also decrease Ignite and Stand Up’s grasp of SRC and NUS seats.
Winners and Losers
Based on today’s results, Isabella Brook is likely to be sworn in as SRC Pres with Ed McCann by her side. While it is expected that Georgia Mantle will come out in force with Power and Left action supporters over the next two days, the swing towards Brook looks to retain a Labor-supported President.
If Time isn’t struggling with some premature ejac problems, we’ll be looking at a very interesting Pulp rival student publication to say the least, and perhaps a categorical shift in Honi Soit’s role at USyd. The preference deals, or lack thereof, looks to be the crucial element for Sin and Wet’s campaign to edit the paper, putting Time for Honi in the lead.
Just like me, this election is fucking cooked.
Moving to UTS anyone?
Just can’t get enough of stupol you miserable hack?? Here is the full spreadsheet breakdown.
Huge thanks to Brendan O’Shea, Eden Caceda and Radha Wahyuwidayat for helping poll students, count votes and crunch numbers.
*Pulp Editor Swetha Das, a candidate for Sin for Honi, was not involved with the writing or editing of this article.