The presidential election will be the first contested election since the ballot stuffing scandalTobia Navia for Varsity

The Cambridge Union has announced its candidate list for Lent 2025, in an election once again dominated by uncontested positions.

Sammy McDonald, former Union debates officer and current Cambridge University Labour Club campaigns officer, and Felix Esche, the current debates officer, are the two candidates running for Lent 2025 presidency. All other positions are unopposed.

The Union’s past three presidential races have been uncontested. This is the first contested race for president since last year’s ballot rigging scandal, in which then-president Max Ghose resigned after being accused of “astonishing acts of electoral malpractice”

Current equalities officer Jessica Spearman, Ivan Ampiah, Ben Davison, and Chris Lorde are running for debates officer, speakers officer, social events officer, and equalities officer respectively.

McDonald’s campaign focuses on democratic processes, claiming in his manifesto that he will “revive democracy” in the Union by introducing elections for the communications officer. He has also promised to expand access in the Union by “elevating the role of the equalities officer,” expanding “financial access,” and “collaborating with more local charities and schools”.


Mountain View

Emergency SU meeting called amid allegations of racism and corruption

This comes after the Union has faced criticism for a stagnating democracy, with the last two elections having no more than two contested positions.

Esche’s manifesto claims that he seeks to create a Union that “functions as a space for free expression,” and aims to have a focus on “empowering equalities”.

Esche has also promised to freeze “current access membership prices,” increasing “the scale and diversity of events in the cellars,” and “increasing the power and budget of equalities officers”. This comes after the Union was forced to hike membership prices to £300 following “years of bad financial decisions”.

Voting for the elections opens on the 10th of June, with results being announced on the evening of the 12th.