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University election results: same student parties on University Council, turnout lower

All the student parties that stood for the University Council this year have won one or more seats, meaning that the student section remains the same. However, at 16.3% the turnout has continued to decline.

The student section of the University Council will once again comprise eight seats that are distributed among six parties. Like last year the composition is as follows:


‘Remaining seats’ decisive

The large number of parties meant that the ‘remaining seats’ were decisive. To win a seat directly, each party had to win more than 12.5% of the votes (this year 640 votes). ONS, LSP, LVS and PBMS managed to do so, but CSL and DSP didn’t. This meant that four seats were awarded directly and four were remaining. None of the parties managed to win two seats directly: they would have needed over 25% of the votes for this. Four seats (half of the seats) were still up for grabs therefore. The next step in the process involved looking at which parties came closest to a seat with their remaining votes. This was ONS, LSP, CSL and DSP.

This was how ONS and LSP ended up with a second seat, and how CSL and DSP ended up on the Council despite not having enough votes for a seat. This result once again requires intensive collaboration, but thus far the student parties have proven more than capable of this.


At 16.3% the student turnout for this year’s elections to the University Council was dramatically low. Last year the coronavirus crisis had a negative effect on the turnout because it made it harder for the parties to campaign and for the university to advertise the elections anywhere other than online. In last year’s election the student turnout dropped by over 3% to 18%. 

What is surprising this year is that, at around 19.5%, the turnout for the faculty councils is higher than for the University Council. This could be because students voted for the faculty councils but not for the University Council or because students who are following two programmes at two faculties can vote for two faculty councils but only once for the University Council.

The turnout for the faculty councils has also decreased, but the students from the faculties of Medicine and Law have ensured that their percentage has recovered somewhat. The turnout for the Faculty of Archaeology is the most erratic. See the table below.

Turnout for the faculty councils

There were considerable differences in the student turnout for the various faculty councils:

  2021 2020 2019
Archaeology 22,9 27,6 21,6
Humanities 16,6 17,7 20,5
Medicine 27,8 25,7 27,1
Governance and Global Affairs 17,3 24,7 29,1
Law 22,7 21,5 28,9
Social and Behavioural Sciences 15,8 19,3 26,8
Science 15,6 15 19,3

Curious about the staff results?

Text: Corine Hendriks

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