Stephen Horvath has been elected President of the Oxford Union, after beating rival Molly Greenwood by 73 votes. His term will commence in Michaelmas 2018.
Horvath’s ‘Ignite’ slate won all four senior officer positions, in the first contested Union election for five terms. Greenwood’s ‘Reform’ slate took none of the top positions.
The biggest margin of victory was for Genevieve Athis, who was elected Librarian by a 365 vote majority over the ‘Reform’ candidate Alex Bruce.
In the race for Treasurer, James Lamming defeated Charles Wang by a mere 25 votes.
Shanuk Mediwaka was elected Secretary with 623 votes, beating Harry Webster’s 490.
Horvath told Cherwell: “I’m absolutely delighted that our officers were all elected, and I can’t thank enough everyone who voted – it means so much to all of us.
“Unfortunately, some of our candidates for committee did not make it in the end, which is such a shame.
“I’d like to thank Molly and the Reform team for running a great campaign – without a doubt, contested elections motivate people to push even harder.
“I’m incredibly excited for the two terms ahead, and I know the #IGNITE team are looking forward to organising some great events and helping to modernise the Union.”
Greenwood told Cherwell: “I would like to thank Stephen for the way he conducted this election – I heard horror stories of previous contested where candidates wouldn’t talk to one another and the office was tense.
“But Stephen was professional and principled at all times. He won a fair fight, and he deserves the result – I’m really pleased for him.”
Three of ‘Ignite’’s four candidates were elected to the Standing Committee, including Cecilia Zhao and Brendan McGrath who received the largest number of votes. One of Reform’s three candidates were elected to Standing.
Just five of ‘Ignite’’s eleven candidates were elected to the Secretary’s Committee, and three of ‘Reform’’s six candidates.
Musty Kamal, who was elected to Standing Committee unattached to a slate, told Cherwell: “I was running from the smallest college in Oxford (I think that’s correct), without a slate. I’d like to thank everyone who supported us in the snow and torrential conditions! It was a very heartwarming day to see people turnout in the numbers they did. Congratulations to everyone elected and I hope it’s a successful trinity.”
Ray Williams, also elected to Standing Committee unattached to a slate, said: “Not being on a slate makes running that much harder and more stressful but I do hope that seeing a more broad range of candidates elected encourages more to give it a try. I think there’s a real problem that people who would be good for the Union don’t put themselves out there because they think they have no chance and I hope this election helps to change that.
“I’m so grateful to my friends who supported and argued for Emily and I and to all the people who came out to vote despite the icy conditions. I ran in this election to make some simple but important changes and I don’t want to let down anyone who took a chance on my less than conventional candidacy. Now I’m going to do my best to fight for the reforms that I hope will make the Union a fairer and more just institution.”
Pre-election analysis by Cherwell revealed that more than 60 per cent of candidates running at all levels were privately educated, whilst more than 70 per cent were male.