USU ELECTION: EXIT POLLING DAY ONE
WORDS BY EDEN FAITHFULL & JOSH WOOLLER
Day one of the USU Elections is over, and Pulp is bringing you the exclusive results of the first round of exit polling.
Voting took place today in the International Students’ Lounge (ISL) and Manning from 9.30am to 4.00pm. Pulp collected data from both locations between 10.00am and 4.00pm. As may be expected, a large number of students who vote on pre-polling day are often candidates and campaigners themselves, with Jacob Masina and Alexander Shu spotted flexing their democratic muscles at ISL this morning.
First Preference Breakdown
A total of 327 voters were polled by Pulp today, compared to 266 by Honi Soit last year. The rankings are as follows:
Hengjie Sun (57)
Jacob Masina (49)
Adam Torres (46)
Liliana Tai (39)
Claudia Gulbransen-Diaz (38)
Zhixian Wang (28)
Caitlin McMenamin (26)
Alex Shu (25)
Sally Yang (18)
Erika Salmon (1)
Possible Margins of Error
Pulp was able to collect a total of 327 votes from students today, with an additional 46 poll participants unwilling to disclose the way they voted. This data was able to provide us with a fairly clear snapshot of the projected voter turnout in the days to come, though many students declined to go into detail about their second preferences.
It appears as though an overwhelmingly large turnout of International students may have skewed the poll, with an unprecedented number of candidates vowing to the represent them on the USU Board. Hengjie Sun (and his campaigners) certainly got things done in the ISL, with over triple the votes of the next best candidate, Jacob Masina. However, Sun only received a total of 3 votes at the Manning polling booth, to Masina’s 34.
While many believed the exclusion of Zhixian Wang last week would severely harm her chances of being elected, it appears that she could become a serious contender for one of the available positions on the Board and further complicating how the top six will look.
The Bigger Picture
Here’s the breakdown of votes by polling booth:
Preferences according to today’s exit polling flowed weakly between most candidates, with Sun and Masina once again taking top place, as 7 second preference votes went to Sun out Masina’s 15 at ISL, though only 8 second preferences that were disclosed to Pulp out of Sun’s 52 votes went to Masina, with most respondents claiming they did not give second preferences.
Tai and Torres’ preference deal has also seemed to have an effect on voters who know how to follow a HTV, with 8 second preferences of Tai’s 17 votes at ISL going to Torres, and 6 of Torres’ 15 going to Tai.
The surprise of the day was the performance of Hengje Sun, who polled a massive 32% of the votes at ISL, and receiving a final total of 57 votes for the day placed him in a clear first. Last year, Yifan (Koko) Kong received 46 votes on the first day of exit polling (and received a record breaking total of 1,451 votes). If Hengjie is able to continue his strong performance, we could be on track for another record breaking number of votes cast.
Based on today’s results, it seems that Hengjie Sun and Jacob Masina will be vying to take out the top place, with candidates Adam Torres, Liliana Tai, Claudia Gulbransen-Diaz, Zhixian Wang, Caitlin McMenamin and Alex Shu vying for the remaining four spots. Over 4,500 students voted last year, meaning that all the candidates have a huge opportunity in the coming days to increase their standing. Given that 266 students turned out to vote in the first day of polling in 2016, there is expected to be a considerably larger turnout this year.
Pulp will have more exit polls and further analysis of the performance of each candidate at the same time tomorrow.
Special thanks to Brendan James O'Shea, Bianca Davino and Monique Newberry.