By Anna Tatham
Following three days of voting Durham Students’ Union (DSU) have announced the results of the election for NUS Delegates 2016-2017. The elected candidates are: Tom Harwood, Ted Lavis Coward, Gina Cuomo, and Kate McIntosh.
DSU witnessed a stand-out year with 2,178 students casting their vote, marking a turnout of 10.7%—an increase of over 300% from last year, it says.
This also compares to the turnout of 3,586 students (18.3%) who voted in the DSU Officer elections last year.
Fifteen candidates ran in total for the four NUS Delegate positions, an additional six candidates than in the 2015 election.
Tom Harwood comprehensively secured the highest amount of first-placed preferences with 638 votes.
His controversial campaign attracted media attention by including claims that he would “bring down the Tory government” and “defeat ISIS,” as well as construct a 217-foot bronze statue of NUS President Malia Bouattia.
Harwood ran Durham’s NUS disaffiliation campaign ‘A Better Durham’ last year, which resulted in 40% of students voting to leave the Union.
On his victory, Tom Harwood told Palatinate: “Durham has chosen a new, pluralist direction that speaks out against the ridiculous NUS consensus.”
Ted Lavis Coward, President of Durham LGBT+a Association, obtained the second highest amount of preferences with 268 votes.
They told Palatinate: “As LGBT+a President I’m confident I’m the best person to represent issues that face our community, whilst particularly highlighting the struggles trans students encounter nationally.”
The four elected candidates will now represent Durham Students’ Union at the NUS Conference.