This weeks’ Michaelmas term elections have seen an important increase in the number of students participating in the decision of who will represent them at the LSE Student Union.
Comments on voting turnout
When calling on students to vote around the LSE campus, volunteers at polling stations were impressed by hearing many students say they had already voted for their candidates.
After meeting on Friday, the LSE Democratic Committee reflected on this years’ elections and told The Beaver: “We’re happy to see that turnout in the Michaelmas Term Elections has increased from 14.5% of our members voting, to 16%, against a backdrop of falling democratic engagement in Students’ Unions across the country.”
In comparison to last year’s Michaelmas Term elections, there has been an increase in the number of people who voted both for undergraduates, and postgraduates, contributing towards a stronger democracy at the LSE.
Reasoning behind a higher turnout
The Democratic Committee attributes this increase in participation to the success of a series of changes brought about in this years’ elections.
In order to increase visibility and the physical presence of the election on campus, polling stations were introduced for the first time. They were also helpful in supporting key messaging across digital platforms, which further engaged students with the elections. Free coffee or tea vouchers and donuts were offered to those students willing to take a few minutes to vote at polling stations.
Additionally, the committee provided candidates with stalls on Sheffield Street to be used for campaigning. This generated ‘innovative’ campaign techniques and increased candidates’ presence to students who otherwise might not have been reached by already existing campaigning strategies.
Democratic engagement at the LSE has experienced a slight growth and encouraged a positive outlook on the future of student participation for the next LSESU elections.