Eyre received 45.47 per cent of the first-preference voteLucas Chebib

An opinion survey conducted by Varsity has put Daisy Eyre in the lead in the CUSU Presidential election, substantially ahead of rivals Jack Drury and Keir Murison.

Eyre received 45.47 per cent of first-preference vote, well ahead of Drury on 33.87 per cent and Murison on 18.93 per cent.

The poll was conducted between the 1st and the 9th of March and garnered 816 responses.

The election is being conducted under the Single Transferable Vote system, under which the second-preference votes of the last-placed candidate are redistributed among the remaining candidates. If Murison comes last in first preferences, therefore, his votes will be reassigned to Eyre or Drury depending on the second preference expressed by each voter. It is anticipated that in such a scenario, Eyre would be the beneficiary of Murison’s elimination.

The result will be a boost for Eyre going into the final day of the voting period, which ends at 5pm today. However, it may also encourage wavering students to vote for her rivals in the expectation that she is likely to be the victor regardless.

What is more, many of the poll responses were delivered before the Elections Committee imposed a 9-hour campaigning ban on Eyre’s campaign on Wednesday, an incident which threatened to slow her momentum, though it is not known what, if any, effect it will have on the final vote.

If Eyre’s campaign has been damaged by the controversy, Drury must hope that he can capitalise on this to catch up as the final votes are cast.

Candidates seem to for the most part to be enjoying a home college advantage, though to different extents. 83.53 per cent of Jesus students selected Eyre, who has been its JCR President, and 72.80 per cent of Drury’s Gonville & Caius College gave him their vote in the survey. Murison is seemingly a more divisive figure in his own college of Emma, but nonetheless racked up 52.38 per cent of its vote.

Eyre is also enjoying large leads in Murray Edwards (83.33 per cent), St Catharine’s (72.22 per cent) and Sidney Sussex (67.67 per cent), while Drury is favoured in Peterhouse (70.00 per cent) and Downing (53.49 per cent).

The survey also suggests increased engagement in the election from the candidates’ own colleges. There were 135 respondents from Gonville & Caius College, 89 from Jesus, and 66 from Emmanuel. The next-highest number of respondents came from Downing College, 46 of whose students replied to the poll.

The survey seems to expose a gender gap in voting intentions. 56.79 per cent of female respondents gave their preference to Eyre, the rest being split evenly between the other candidates. Male respondents gave Drury a plurality of 44.74 per cent, with Eyre on 35.79 per cent and Murison on 17.11 per cent.

The survey revealed very little ambivalence about the candidates, though this is to be expected among a self-selected sample. 36 respondents, 4.41 per cent of the total, were undecided about their vote when they filled in the poll. Just 1.73 per cent said that they intended to vote to re-open nominations (RON), suggesting that the candidates are not suffering too greatly from voter disillusionment.

The final results will be announced at 6.45pm today

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