Poll: Fullam favoured for presidency, Staunton for welfare & equality

The UT Editor election is headed towards a historic upset result

A poll conducted by Trinity News indicates that Gabi Fullam is leading in the race for Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU) President, but the election remains too close to call. The poll, which was carried out between February 22 and 26 February 2022, uses a representative sample of 574 students. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.0%.

The poll results also suggest that a re-open nominations (RON) result may be returned in a TCDSU sabbatical election for the first time in at least a decade. RON currently leads Mairead Maguire by 25 points in the race for University Times Editor.


Gabi Fullam is likely to be elected TCDSU President over Rebecca Kelly, the poll suggests, though the outcome is far from certain.

The presidential race is the tightest in this election season, with the contest between the Union’s current Ethnic Minorities Officer and current Gender Equality Officer too close to definitively call. The poll shows an eight point lead and a margin of error of 8% for Fullam, suggesting her true lead in first preferences is between 0 and 16 percentage points.

Fullam is favoured among almost all demographic groups, with 51.1% of first preferences across the board, while 42.9% of first preferences are for Kelly and just under 6% are for the option to re-open nominations (RON). Fullam is particularly popular among left-wing voters and students who have never held a position in TCDSU, which may be to her advantage when voting opens on Tuesday. However, while the proportion of undecided voters is smaller in this race than any other at 18.9% of respondents, it may be enough to swing the vote in either candidate’s favour.

If neither candidate reaches the quota on the first count, the presidential election will come down to the distribution of second preferences after the RON option is eliminated, which could see the race go either way.


Sole Education candidate Zöe Cummins received 90.5% of first preferences in the Trinity News poll while RON received 9.5%. The current STEM convenor has consistent support across all faculties and demographics and, with the 42% of respondents who are currently undecided unlikely to drastically swing the race, looks set to be comfortably elected Education Officer when voting closes on Thursday.

Welfare & Equality

Disabilities Officer Chloe Staunton leads with 68.2% of first preferences in the race for Welfare & Equality Officer, while former Oifigeach na Gaeilge Cúnla Morris is polling at 27.1% and RON is at 4.6%. As almost half of voters are undecided in this race, the final vote share may look somewhat different, but a significant change would be needed for Morris to overcome Staunton’s lead.

Communications & Marketing

Julie Smirnova, running unopposed for Communications & Marketing Officer, is polling at 92.7% with the RON vote at 7.2%. Though 42% of respondents remain undecided, the current Citizenship Officer is broadly popular among all demographics and can be reasonably assured of an overwhelming win at the polls.


The polling shows a significant lead for Max Lynch in the Ents race, with 44.8% of first preferences compared to Nadia at 27.6% and Ross Donnelly at 24.22%. The vote to re-open nominations stands at just 3.4%. All three Ents candidates will be eager to distinguish themselves in the final days of the campaign, and with about 30% of respondents undecided at the time of polling, there are still voters to be swayed. Though it would be an uphill battle for either Donnelly or Nadia to surpass Lynch’s lead in first preferences, how students vote down the ballot is vital as this race is likely to come down to voters’ second and third preferences.

University Times Editor

Voters look likely to return a RON result in the race for University Times Editor, with the option to re-open nominations polling at 62.7% ahead of current Deputy Editor Mairead Maguire at 37.3%. Our poll indicates majority support for RON among all demographics, with a particular preference for re-opening nominations among left-leaning students. With about a quarter of respondents undecided, Maguire would need to sway almost all undecided voters to be elected Editor. There was an active RON campaign in this race, a first since Muireann Kane ran for Communications & Marketing Officer in 2019. This result, if borne out, would also represent the first time an incumbent deputy editor has not been elected editor of the paper since it was made into a sabbatical position.

Surveyed students were given a sample ballot for each race. Quoted statistics for candidates’ performance do not include those who indicated they were undecided or that they didn’t intend to vote. Levels of support are based on first preferences.

Maggie Larson

Maggie Larson is a Computational Journalist for Trinity News, and a former Deputy Societies Editor.