Shakira Martin has just been elected the next President of the national Union of Students, winning with first preference votes alone.
In the first round, Martin won 402 votes – 56% of the vote share. Malia Bouattia, who was running for re-election, won 235 votes and Tom Harwood, an NUS delegate from Durham University, received 35 votes.
She identifies herself as a black single mother from a working class family, and positioned herself as a centrist candidate. She is currently an NUS Vice President.
Following her election victory, she said: “I am honoured and humbled to have been elected as NUS’ National President. I take this as a vote of trust that our members believe I can lead our national movement to be the fighting and campaigning organisation we need it to be, representing the breadth of our diverse membership.
“Further Education made me who I am today and look forward to sharing stories of just how powerful all forms of education can be when we’re all given access to it. During my term in office I want to spend my time listening, learning and leading.”
Tom Harwood, whose candidacy has been the source of much controversy in recent weeks, told Cherwell: “”I am so proud of the role I have played in this election. Our campaign shifted the debate and helped set the course for what can be a more moderate union.”
Others reacted to the result on Twitter:
I will never be able to tell you how much this means. Thank you, THANK YOU. Congratulations to other candidates ❤️ #NUSConference
— Shakira Martin (@ShakiraSweet1) April 26, 2017
— Frankie Simons (@frankiehsimons) April 26, 2017
— David F Browne (@DavidFBrowne1) April 26, 2017
An analysis of the campaign from Cherwell can be found here.