Poll: Hand on track to win presidency with Comms race too close to call

Crawford has a comfortable lead in the UT Editor contest

A poll conducted by Trinity News suggests that Eoin Hand is winning the race to be the next President of Trinity College Dublin Students’ Union (TCDSU). The poll, which was based on a representative sample of 1,019 students, was carried out between Wednesday, February 19 and Friday, February 21. It also shows a race for Communications and Marketing in which the candidates are almost level, as well as the potential for history to be made in the University Times (UT) Editor election.


In the race for President, Eoin Hand received just under the half-plus-one of votes necessary to win outright, at 49.4%. Ryan Carey comes in second at 31.4%, with Harry Williams and re-open nominations (RON) receiving 16.9% and 2.4% respectively. Once RON is eliminated and its votes redistributed, Hand’s lead over Carey narrows slightly, but Hand nevertheless reaches the quota necessary to be elected.

More than a third of students polled remained undecided in the presidential contest, with six days remaining between the end of the polling period and the conclusion of voting this Thursday evening. Campaigns in all contested races are likely to work hard this week to try to sway voters at the last minute, so candidates’ final performance in the election may still be markedly different.

Comms and Marketing

In the Communications and Marketing contest, the difference in support between the two candidates is almost negligible. Philly Holmes leads slightly at 47.6%, with Hiram Harrington just behind at 46.6% and RON on 5.8%. The one-point gap between Holmes and Harrington is well within the poll’s margin of error, which is ±2.9%. The Communications and Marketing race also produced the highest number of undecided voters of any election, with nearly half of those surveyed yet to make up their minds. Either candidate could easily win, with several days of canvassing still to go.

University Times Editor

The University Times is on track to have its first ever Editor who didn’t previously serve as the paper’s Deputy Editor since the role was split from the Communications and Marketing Officer position in 2015, according to poll results. Susie Crawford’s support was measured at 53.1% in the poll, with current Deputy Editor Cormac Watson at 43.5% and RON on 3.4%. The race was historic from the beginning, as Crawford was the first member of the paper’s staff ever to challenge an incumbent Deputy Editor for the leadership position since it became a separately elected role.

Education, Welfare and Ents

In the three uncontested races, no candidate faces a particular risk of being rejected by voters. Compared with RON, all candidates enjoy more than four-fifths support. Education candidate Megan O’Connor is on 85.0%, Welfare hopeful Leah Keogh has 89.1% support, and Hugh McInerney’s Ents campaign stands at 82.8%.

Surveyed students were given a sample ballot for each race. Quoted statistics for candidates’ performance disclude those who indicated they were undecided or that they didn’t intend to vote in a given election. Levels of support are also based on first preferences. Aside from election-related questions, participants were also asked for demographic information including gender, year and faculty of study, as well as questions about their political affiliation, the type of accommodation they live in, and how well they feel represented by TCDSU.

Full coverage and breakdown of the poll results will be available in the latest issue of Trinity News, available on Tuesday February 25.

Jack Kennedy

Jack Kennedy is the Editor-in-chief of the 68th edition of Trinity News. He is a Computer & Electronic Engineering graduate, and a former Assistant Editor, Online Editor, and Deputy Online Editor.