Elections Corner: The race for Communities

17th March 2017

This year we have seen 4 average candidates take the campaign race for communities’ officer. Last year we saw a very close race which went all the way to round four, where Abel Hartman beat Scott Jennings by 6 points. It was a close-run thing, but since then Abel continued on the good work done by predecessor Sam Peake, especially regarding housing. I don’t think the race for his position will be as close this year. The batch of candidates overall this year has been of a lower standard than what I have been used to. Over the previous three elections cycles I have not seen a clear favourite, because they have all been very strong candidates with strong manifestos. However, this year, while there is no clear favourite again I think the overall standard of the four candidates is significantly lower.

Looking at each candidates manifestos, the main focus is housing issues – building on Abel’s work. There is also a great deal of focus on safety on nights out and negotiating lower bus fares. While all the candidates mention these policies, I think that Ellie Mitchell and Moonisah Iqbal have the most feasible and attractive policies. Although I don think that Ellie’s aim for Crisis and Ocean tickets will not work and is just a way to grab votes.Listening to their questions times, hustings and speaking to the campaign teams, both candidates are clearly passionate about the role. I didn’t feel this passion from the other two candidates. For me this has come across in the campaigns. Both Ellie and Moonisah have had a strong presence on the campus over the past week, I haven’t seen this from the other two. The winner will come from either Ellie and Moonisah and I think the Ellie’s online presence and well as  her policy on tickets – especially her well-made video – will give her the edge over Moonisah.