Laura Beston will be the next President of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU), after winning 55% of, or 1,844 first preference votes. Her competitor, Daire Hennessy, won 40.4% of, or 1,357 first preference votes. The option to re-open nominations (RON) received 154 first preference votes. Total valid poll was 3,355, with 81 votes deemed invalid.
The fourth year English and Film student campaigned on a platform of empowerment, inclusion, and activism. She stated that “experience and dedication to the student body” will set her apart as President, and hopes to build upon her work as TCDSU Officer for Students with Disabilities to make Trinity a fully accessible campus.
The elections period saw division arise between the candidates regarding the central focus of the SU. Hennessy’s campaign focused primarily on local issues as he reiterated his message stating that the SU should “get back to basics” by focusing on student problems. Beston instead supported national-focused campaigns insisting that “national issues are affecting students every day”. Her manifesto points include improved trans healthcare, greater equality for ethnic minorities, and lobbying for better student housing.
This year’s election also saw the candidates focus on the problem of increasingly low student engagement with the SU. To counteract this trend, Beston promises to create an online complaints system to allow students to directly voice their concerns to the Union. She has also spoken about the importance of personal engagement, stating during the campaign that she is “always willing to listen to people”.
Tonight’s result follows the Trinity News poll this week, which predicted Beston winning 61% of first preference votes, compared to 33% for Hennessy.