Cormac Watson has been narrowly elected editor of the University Times, receiving 52.4% of the vote on the second count after neither Watson nor his opponent Susie Crawford reached the quota on the first count.
On the first count, Crawford received 45.1% of the valid 2,435 votes, with Watson winning 49.7%. There were 127 votes to re-open nominations, which were redistributed between the candidates on the second count. 73 of those votes were not redistributed, 26 went to Crawford, and 28 went to Watson. This left Crawford on 1123, or 47.6%, and Watson on 1239, or 52.4%.
Watson is the current Deputy Editor of the newspaper, and has previously served as Sports Editor and Deputy Sport Editor. His campaign emphasised his experience with the newspaper, and presented a number of ideas including the introduction of a Climate Change Editor, as well as an alumni network through which to raise funds for the paper.
Speaking to Trinity News after the result, Watson said: “It’s an amazing feeling. It’s been an absolute privilege to speak to so many students and to hear about their vision for the paper and I can’t wait…to continue to work in students’ interests.” He also praised his competitor, who he said ran “an amazing campaign”, and thanked his campaign manager Mal Ó Marcaigh.
This year saw the first election in which the position of Editor was seriously contested by two staff members of the newspaper. Watson’s opponent, Susie Crawford, was vying to become the first editor of the paper who had not previously served as Deputy Editor since the role was split from the position of Communications and Marketing Officer in 2015. Her campaign focused attracting more writers to the University Times, and emphasised her fresh perspective as an outsider in the race.
A poll of 1,019 students by Trinity News predicted that Crawford was on track to win comfortably with 53.1% of the student vote, compared to Watson’s 43.5%. A similar poll, conducted by the University Times, predicted that Watson would win with 54.2% of the vote.