The Mancunion

Britain's biggest student newspaper

Liveblog: Students’ Union executive election results night

Minute-by-minute coverage of 2016’s Executive Elections at the Univeristy of Manchester Students’ Union


Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:30 PM

Naa Acquah, re-elected as General Secretary: “I feel absolutely over the moon. It was a really hard competition this year, it was hard, we worked so hard and there were some people who I really, honestly, wanted to win. I’m going to party now, I’m going to drink, and I’m going to carry on doing the work I did, and keep doing it, and keep loving life! I’m so happy, thank you so much!”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:28 PM

Tamara O’Neil, new Activities & Development Officer: “Extremely, extremely happy. Overwhelmed, shocked that that many students voted. I feel really happy! I’m going to Koh Tao now to support my friend, going on a night out. Well done to all the other candidates because it was very hard, very strong competition.”

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:27 PM

Imagine the news we’d have been able to write if that happened here!

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:26 PM

And if you think it’s been fun here tonight—Re-open Nominations won the election at LSE for General Secretary tonight!

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:26 PM

There are six women on the Exec Team next year, with three BAME members—the most diverse a Manchester SU Exec has ever been

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:26 PM

Jenni Smyth, new Women’s Officer: “As I said in my speech, I’m a mature student and a student parent, and when I started uni I felt a little bit isolated during Freshers’, there was nothing for me. I went to conversation corner, met the women’s campaign, and suddenly I didn’t feel like a mature student, I just felt like a student, a woman, and that’s where I found my university family. Since then I have been absolutely dedicated to the women’s campaign, Jess Lishak is amazing, has done such a good job. She’s done two years, and I’m proud and honoured to at least try to attempt and carry on the good work she’s done. I can’t believe it, I’m in shock! Thank you!”

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:25 PM

Just to recap, our winners tonight—and your 2016/17 Exec Team—are: Naa Acquah (General Secretary), Tamara O’Neill (Activities & Development), Sorcha Floyd (Campaigns & Citizenship), Saffa Mir (Community), Ilyas Nagdee (Diversity), Michael Spence (Education), Izzy Gurbuz (Wellbeing), and Jenni Smyth (Women’s)

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:22 PM

Izzy Gurbuz, the new Wellbeing Officer, was so overwhelmed by the news that she couldn’t stop crying to answer any questions about her victory. Congratulations to her anyway.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:20 PM

Michael Spence, re-elected Education Officer: “Relieved, I’m just relieved, I’m over the moon. I’m so excited, I can actually do the things I want to do next year, I can start that now, I’m so excited—I’m so happy.”

Are you going to dye your hair black again?

“Oh hell no, it’s staying green!”

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:20 PM

That’s what we’re being asked over the PA system in Club Academy

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:20 PM

The question is, dear reader, do you believe in life after love?

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:20 PM

In more important #news, the liveblogging team has switched from Carlsberg to Academy IPA. It is objectively better

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:19 PM

Saffa Mir, new Community Officer: “Overwhelmed, it’s been such a long experience, I’m just ready to sleep. I am so tired, it’s been such a tiring experience, but so worth it.”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:18 PM

Ilyas Nagdee, new Diversity Officer: “Amazing, this is amazing. I actually can’t say anything now.”

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:12 PM

Because what would the news be without a little bit of bitterness?

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:12 PM

And, hopefully, the bitter, unsuccessful ones

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:12 PM

Sorcha Floyd, new Campaigns Officer: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed, thank you so much!”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:11 PM

Reactions from successful candidates will follow.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:11 PM

Trish broke the voter turnout record for any SU last year. This year we have the leading turnout of any SU (so far, Nottingham are yet to announce their results). 

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:10 PM

Henri launches into a doting speech about leaving manager of Student Voice, Trish McGrath, who will be moving to Aberystwyth: “She even got married in this building and had her reception here.”

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:10 PM

Viva la diaeresis 

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:09 PM

Reëlected General Secretary Naa Acquah: “It’s been a really great election—I’m absolutely over the moon. I was shitting myself before this, so thank you guys. There are so many people I could not do this without:, Deej, Saffa, Jenni, Michael… I will carry on working really hard, I promise”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:09 PM

Naa thanks many including Ilyas, Saffa, Michael, and Jenni.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:08 PM

No, re-elected.

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:08 PM

Naa Acquah is reëlected General Secretary

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:08 PM

Naa Acquah is re-elected General Secretary with 2,576 votes.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:07 PM

General Secretary is next. In the first round, Naa takes a lead of around 800.

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:07 PM

Just so you know, the Carlsberg doesn’t get any better with age, folks 

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:06 PM

Newly-elected Activities & Development Officer Tamara: “It’s been a crazy week, and I’m going to work my absolute hardest to give the students at the University of Manchester the best experience”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:06 PM

It must have been that banner.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:05 PM

In the final round, Tamara O’Neil reached 1626 votes, and is elected Activities & Development Officer.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:04 PM

This is followed by 13 rounds of reallocations which are skipped.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:04 PM

In the first round, Tamara has a lead over the other 17 candidates.

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:03 PM

Newly-elected Women’s Officer Jenni: “I never ever expected to be stood here today. I remember my first day of uni and feeling a bit isolated and out of place as a mature student and parent. I went to the Women’s Conversation Corner, I met Jess, and I suddenly didn’t feel isolated any. She convinced me to run despite my doubts. Cannot believe I’m here today.”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:03 PM

Activities & Development Officer is next. For this there were 16 —it was close.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:01 PM

In the second round, with 2529 votes, Jenni Smyth is elected Women’s Officer. Congratulations!

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:01 PM

It’s ok Charlie, I still love you

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:01 PM

Jenni Smyth leads votes in the first round of 2.

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:01 PM

Women’s Officer is the next result to be revealed

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:00 PM

At this point, the order I previously promised is totally out the window, so for that I apologise.

Liam Kelly 10th March 201610:00 PM

Laura Mills and Sophie come in for special mentions from our new Wellbeing Officer, as do her rival candidates

Charlie Spargo 10th March 201610:00 PM

By round 16, Izzy has the lead with 1420 votes. Izzy Gurbuz is elected Wellbeing Officer.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:59 PM

The final 3 candidates are Annie, Oliver and Izzy, with the latter leading.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:59 PM

By round 11 the gap has narrowed but Izzy still has the lead.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:58 PM

Various candidates are reallocated over 11 rounds.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:58 PM

Izzy, Annie and Oliver lead the first round of voting.

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:58 PM

Let’s hope they skip ahead again!

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:57 PM

The Wellbeing Officer position saw 4885 votes cast

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:57 PM

16 rounds of voting for Wellbeing Officer.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:57 PM

“I know you [Chris James] might be straight, but you’re effectively my boyfriend at this stage.”

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:57 PM

Way to go, Kyle

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:57 PM

Education Officer Michael Spence thanks his campaign team, especially Kyle, who cancelled a trip to London to help campaign in Manchester today

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:56 PM

With 1738 votes, incumbent Michael Spence achieves re-election.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:56 PM

In round 14 there were 3 candidates left, Jack, Emma and Michael.

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:56 PM

Another mercy—we’ve decided to skip all of the middling rounds, and have skipped to the end

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:55 PM

Rather than knocking out candidates for 11 whole rounds, they jump to the final rounds. Michael Spence still holds a lead.

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:55 PM

The first round’s victory threshold was 2620

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:55 PM

Incumbent Michael Spence won 1282 votes in the first round

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:54 PM

There were 13 rounds for Education Officer, with 5,255 votes in total.

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:54 PM

Education Officer is next up…

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:54 PM

Saffa is elected Community Officer after two rounds of voting. She thanks the Islamic Society.

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:53 PM

Newly-elected Diversity Officer Ilyas Nagdee: “Sorry, I’m shit with speeches. But thanks guys, thanks for
backing the beard!”

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:51 PM

Newly-elected Campaigns & Citizenship Office Sorcha Floyd: “I’m so proud, I can’t believe it. Thank you all, thanks so much”

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:51 PM

4,602 candidates voted for Diversity Officer. Ilyas Nagdee received 2,479 votes, and is elected Diversity Officer. 

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:50 PM

The next most voted-for candidate only reached 1,204 so this was not the closest of races. Congratulations to Sorcha Floyd!

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:49 PM

Sorcha Floyd is our new Campaigns & Citizenship Officer, with 3016 votes

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:49 PM

The first results to be announced are for C&C. 5963 candidates turned out in this race.

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:48 PM

Short of last year’s 13 and a half thousand, but still good!

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:48 PM

10,169 students voted in this year’s election

Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:47 PM

A bigger cheer for “elections goddess” Fran, who receives the praise gracefully with a pint in either hand.

Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:47 PM

    For our readers who like to keep abreast of the beverage situation at the Students’ Union, the Carlsberg appears to have turned

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:47 PM

    Never pick the Carlsberg, Liam. 

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:46 PM

    A big cheer for departing staff member Trish after five years at the union, where she has served as Head of Student Voice. Thanks to Trish.

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:44 PM

    Joel and Jess are, mercifully, going to keep things “quite short”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:44 PM

    Our hosts Henri Egle Sorotos and Trish McGrath have taken to the stage, and are introducing departing Exec Officers Joel and Jess who will be giving short speeches.

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:43 PM

    As well as The Mancunion being here, Fuse FM and Fuse TV are covering tonight’s events in Club Academy—be ready to see their output in the next couple of days!

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:43 PM

    I’ve been reliably informed of the order positions will be announced. In a bid to work out whether voters have just selected the top position and not bothered with the others, the order is as follows:

    Campaigns & Citizenship Officer,

    Community Officer,

    Diversity Officer, 

    Education Officer,

    Wellbeing Officer, 

    Women’s Officer,

    Activities & Development Officer,

    then finally, General Secretary.

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:40 PM

    Sarah Brown (Wellbeing Officer candidate): “I actually found the campaigning quite intrusive. I’ve found that it gets in the way of your degree a little bit. But it’s been lovely getting to know people—painting the banners was a lot of fun. But campaigning to students was quite intrusive.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:37 PM

    Bill Lee (@westcoastbill) talking sense on the #KeepItReal hashtag with some biting commentary on women who wear suit jackets and T-shirts.

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:35 PM

    don’t forget #getinvolved Charlie!

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:34 PM

    I assume the instruction is to use and keep an eye on the hashtags #KeepItReal or #Vibes.

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:34 PM

    Charlie is wearing a rather fetching blazer for the evening’s festivities, putting the rest of The Mancunion staff to shame. We’ll get a photo up ASAFP

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:32 PM

    They haven’t played The Winner Takes It All from what I’ve heard yet, so I’m assuming they’re reserving that gem for after all the announcements.

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:31 PM

    Candidates who have chosen to find out if they were successful or not have moved to the Student Voice office to be let know in private. I suppose we might be able to work out just by looking at their faces who some of the unsuccessful candidates are…

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:31 PM

    Elrica Degirmen (Education Officer Candidate): “It’s hard to say right now [how well the campaign went]. I don’t think I’ve won it, but it will be interesting to see my margin of loss. When I launched this campaign I knew I was fighting an uphill struggle here in Manchester, and I know I’m loathed by many people at the university, so I’ve always thought that if I’m going to win it, I’m going to have to win it outright. I’ll smash it, or fail miserably. I don’t think I’ve won it—it was too tough here. I’ve got a lot of support here though.”

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:30 PM

    Alan Partridge is DJing tonight, Charlie

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:29 PM

    The choice of music in the room seems a divisive choice. It’s ABBA. Just ABBA, and nothing else.

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:28 PM

    Coby Tunnicliffe (General Secretary candidate): “The campaign went really well, disappointing how few students were interested. Naa seems like she really knows what’s going on and she was very prepared.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:28 PM

    Chris James (Campaigns & Citizenship Officer candidate): “Really nervous but I enjoyed the campaign. Learnt to speak better in public, and I’d recommend it to others. I think Deej and Sorcha are really good candidates.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:27 PM

    Jack Lofthouse (Community Officer candidate): “It’s been a really good week, I’ve spoken to lots of people. It’s been really intense, but I’m glad it’s over now. I’ve had a lot of competition—main competition is Saffa because of the quality of her campaign. She’s tried really hard, and I wish her well for the future. She’s a really good candidate.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:26 PM

    Michael Spence (incumbent Education Secretary): “Nervous but excited about what’s going to happen tonight—I can’t call most races, except diversity. Anyone could win any of the races. Ilyas to win diversity. He ran against me last year.

    “I thought he was a good, strong candidate, who’d make a great officer.”

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:24 PM

    Chris James (Campaigns Officer candidate): “I’m feeling really nervous, but I enjoyed the campaign. I learnt to speak better in public, and I’d recommend [standing] to others. I think Deej and Sorcha really good candidates”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:24 PM

    Naa Acquah (incumbent General Secretary): “I feel really apprehensive re-running—first time around I had nothing to lose and had a lot of fun. This time I’m really passionate about the job, I’ve been in it for a year, and I know what it takes and what it consists of, so you think about it so much more. If I didn’t get re-elected, I’d take it on the chin and I’d leave gracefully. The stakes are so much higher this time as there’s so much going on.”

    Liam Kelly 10th March 20169:23 PM

    Jack Lofthouse (Communities Officer candidate): “It’s been a really good week, I’ve spoken to lots of people. It’s been really intense, but I’m glad it’s over now. I’ve had a lot of competition—I’d say my main competition is Saffa because of the quality of her campaign. She’s tried really hard, and I wish her well for the future. She’s a really good candidate”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:23 PM

    Meg Taylor (General Secretary candidate): “I don’t really know how to feel, I’m trying not to feel nervous, and just hoping for the best.”

    Do you think you stand a good chance?

    “I think Ive given myself the best chance I can, and everyone’s said I’ve had a really amazing campaign, it’s been really out there, everyone’s engaged with it, so I’ve had the Meg Griffin thing, and Eminem parody videos, so I’m hoping it all pays off.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:19 PM

    The “funny” awards are being announced. The best video goes to Meg Taylor, best banner to Tamara O’Neil, most motivation to Jenni Smyth, most dedicated to Jack Lofthouse, best brand to Michael Spence, fountain of knowledge to Naa Acquah, and most creative campaign move to Sorcha Floyd!

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:17 PM

    Sorcha Floyd (Campaigns & Citizenship Officer candidate): “I’m feeling fine, whoever gets the job will be fantastic. And I’m proud of any of them, it’s really hard to tell who will win each of the roles.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:15 PM

    Jenni Smyth (Women’s Officer candidate): “So I’m very nervous, really excited. It’s been such an amazing experience, all of the candidates are brilliant, everyone’s gave 110 per cent. It’s a shame there is no position for all of us.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:14 PM

    Jack Metcalf (Education Officer candidate): “Well I’ve got no idea what I’m really going to get, there’s so many candidates standing. Me and my mates from Socialist Students, it’s been a really good effort, it’s been the busiest campaign out there. So I think we deserve to get something decent, we’re hoping for the best.”

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:12 PM

    We’ve talked with many incumbent Exec officers as well as a number of candidates about how they’re feeling tonight.

    Charlie Spargo 10th March 20169:11 PM

    Welcome to this evening’s coverage of the announcements for 2016/17’s executive officers at the Students’ Union. We’re in Club Academy reporting live as the results are announced.

    • Jack

      Thank you Liam Kelly, Charlie Spargo, and the whole Mancunion team. This was really useful as I couldn’t make it last night.