Perse students go to the polls in mock General Election
12 Dec 2019
With the country going to the polls in the General Election, Perse students cast their own votes in the school’s mock election.
Seven student candidates were on the ballot paper representing the Brexit Party, Change UK, the Conservatives, the Greens, Labour and the Liberal Democrats, as well as an Independent.
Each candidate made a 90-second film, shown to all form groups, outlining why they should get their votes, besides putting up campaign posters around the Upper school site.
In a final effort to win hearts and minds, they took part in a lively and entertaining hustings in front of a big audience of pupils in the Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre. The wide-ranging debate covered topics such as climate change, Brexit, trade deal negotiations, funding for education and public services and how such money would be found.
There was a big turnout for the mock election with 773 eligible ballot papers cast. At the results assembly, the Returning Officer, Head Ed Elliott, complimented the candidates on their rigorous preparations for the campaign and for “faithfully representing their party according to its values and policies”.
Unlike the ‘first past the post’ system used to decide the winner in General Election campaigns, the Perse election operated under the ‘alternative vote’ (AV) process.
Under AV, candidates are ranked in order of preference with voters able to rate as many or few as they like. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes cast in any round, the lowest-ranked candidate is eliminated. Those votes are then allocated among the other candidates according to the next available preference.
However, it took six rounds of counting before Change UK candidate Jude Crawley (Lower Sixth) was declared the winner by Mr Elliott and ‘elected’ to represent The Perse ‘constituency’. With just two candidates remaining, he collected 57% of the votes in the final round to edge out Liberal Democrat hopeful Rory Clark (Lower Sixth).