LSESU Michaelmas Elections: Will They Buck The Trend Of Declining Voter Participation?

Voting begins for the LSESU Michaelmas term elections on Friday 26th October, with this year’s batch of nominated candidates duking it out for the 14 positions up for grabs this term.

These range from an opening for a Disabled Students’ Officer to two spots on the Academic Board of the LSE, which determines major policy issues affecting the academic life of students here; and three delegate positions at the National Union of Students (NUS).

The LSESU will be battling a continuing trend of voters’ apathy and low turnout, with just 20% of the student population voting in last year’s Michaelmas term elections.

There was a further 10.8% decrease in turnout during the Lent term elections held during February this year, according to the LSESU.

AN UPHILL TASK

Candidates running in the election will have until 30 October to reverse the decline. Students’ responses to the three hustings sessions being held from 22 to 25 October will be seen as a potential bellwether for turnout.

But in an indication of the challenge ahead to rally unenthusiastic voters, other students did not express interest in voting this time. One student said: “LSE students are much more preoccupied with their academic work than to be bothered with trivial elections.” Another first-year undergraduate echoed this view, saying that he’s not voting because he doesn’t think the elections “really affect my life at the LSE.”

Indifference appears to be widespread. One second-year economics undergraduate student expressed a common refrain when asked about their voting plans: “There are elections?”

However, not all students are disillusioned with the role of the LSESU. Arthur, a first-year undergraduate student expressed his plans to vote during the election. “It gives more legitimacy to the roles…and it is important that people express their opinion on who’s best to do the job effectively,”.

 

– Dexter Low (Staff Writer)

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