MacDonald will be the first president elected in a contested vote since Easter 2023Jeff Lilley with permission for Varsity

Sammy McDonald has won the Cambridge Union presidency for Lent 2025, beating out his opponent Felix Esche by 39 votes.

McDonald, a former Union debates officer and current Labour Club campaigns officer, won 154 votes to Esche’s 115. Six members voted to re-open nominations.

All other races were uncontested, with Jessica Spearman, Ivan Alexei Ampiah, Ben Davison, and Christopher Lorde winning the Debates, Speakers, Social Events, and Equalities officer roles respectively.

McDonald will be the first president elected in a contested vote since last Easter term, with the last three presidents running unopposed.

The race was also the first contested presidency since last year’s ballot rigging scandal, when then-president Max Ghose resigned after being accused of “astonishing acts of electoral malpractice”.

McDonald’s campaign focussed on the society’s democracy, which he claimed he would “revive” by introducing elections for the communications officer role.

This comes after the Union has faced criticism following two election periods in which no more than two roles were contested.

McDonald also promised to widen participation in the Union by “elevating the role of the equalities officer,” expanding “financial access,” and “collaborating with more local charities and schools”.


Mountain View

Union campaigning begins with most positions uncontested

Sammy McDonald told Varsity: “The Union has voted, with a clear mandate for change. I will do my utmost to ensure we are more open, friendly and democratic as a culture, and work my hardest to deliver an amazing term card and restore democratic accountability to the union. I wish to express my profound thanks to the voters who placed their trust in me, and I promise I will fight to repay it.”

“I’d also like to thank you opponent Felix Esche, who ran a fantastic campaign and a great term as debates officer. His constant and robust focus on financial affordability will not be forgotten, and we all owe him an enormous debt of thanks for his conviction and dedication to the union,” he said.