Ents race: Peadar Walsh headed for a guaranteed win in uncontested race

The variety and optimism of Peadar Walsh’s aims have made him a favourite across the board

Analysis of Statistics

Though the only candidate to present themselves in this year’s race to be the next Trinity College Dublin Students Union (TCDSU) Entertainment (Ents) Officer, Peadar Walsh’s campaign is by no means lacking in its variety of aims. Due to this being one of two uncontested races in the elections, Walsh could focus more on his campaign and manifesto, as opposed to promoting it in a higher-stakes, more competitive environment. Based on the Trinity News polling results Walsh’s strategy of concrete goals clearly proved successful, giving him a clear lead over ‘RON’ in virtually every category assessed. 

Amongst the 724 total votes received in this year’s Trinity News poll, 370 were cast for Ents. Accounting for a 4.95% margin of error, 82% of those 370 votes were cast in favour of Walsh, leaving the remaining 18% to RON. Walsh’s popularity is strikingly apparent with respect to Junior Freshman students, where of the 57 polled, 88% voted for him. These statistics broadly retain their nature with respect to Senior Freshman students, where though the sample almost doubled in size (counting 98 pollees), 84% casted a vote in his preference. Walsh also retains a significant lead over RON for those in their final two years of study, gaining favourance with 78% of the 92 Junior Sophister voters, and 77% of the 132 Senior Sophister voters. Similarity of statistics remain amongst the 8 post-graduate pollees, 75% of whom casted a preference for Peadar as next Ents officer.

Walsh’s popularity is highest amongst non-binary and female students, gaining 100% and 85% of the vote amongst the 11 and 238 polled, respectively. A 15 point percentage drop is noted with respect to the 135 male pollees, with 70% casting a preference for Walsh. Though sample sizes differ, Walsh remains most popular amongst STEM students, amassing a total of 83% preferential votes amongst the 60 polled. Of a much greater sample size, though remaining broadly statistically similar: of the 281 Arts & Humanities students polled, Walsh was a favourite amongst 80% of them. Of a comparatively lesser sample size, Walsh still retains much advance over RON amongst those in the Health Sciences, wherein he accrued 78% of the preferential votes amongst the 23 voters.

Lastly, with respect to political affiliation, Walsh’s popularity is seen more-or-less equal amongst the assessed spectrum. Notwithstanding differences in sample sizes, Walsh accrued a similar percentage of popularity for those identifying both pro-government (Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, and Green) and anti-government (any other political party); as well as among those who noted no such political affiliation (78%). More specifically, his popularity is highest amongst those affiliated with the Left and the Centre-Left, counting 81%and 80% of the 58 and 193 casted votes. Though none of the pollees seem affiliated with the Right, 79% of the 53 identifying as Centre-Right casted a vote in his favour.

The Candidate 

Walsh’s clear, varied, and all-around alluring stances have made him a consistently strong candidate amongst every category assessed in this year’s race – despite the lack of an opposing candidate. A Senior Freshman student of computer science & French, Walsh has often referenced his current role as JCR Ents Officer as well as his previous involvements with Rag Week, College Christmas Day, and secondary school events as reasons to elect him to an office he will run with “satisfaction”. Amongst other things, Walsh sees great accountability in the Ents office as one responsible for the making of relationships between students of campus, and as such has placed much emphasis on student welfare, accessibility, and better organisation of events; at both an inter-society and inter-university level. During the campaign, he mentioned the EmpowerTheVoice movement and he has pledged to increase awareness and action around safety in nightclubs. As extrapolated from within his Manifesto, other principle themes of his campaign include increased efficiency in society planning and the holding of larger-scale events. If elected, Walsh would be the youngest TCDSU officer in a number of years – perhaps explaining his noted popularity amongst First and Second year students.

Student Welfare

Following Max Lynch and Olivia Orr’s successful 2022 and 2023 campaigns as College’s next Ents Officer, many prospective candidates have seen themselves placing great importance on student welfare. Building off of an already successful campaigning scheme, Walsh has pledged to have the Ents Office become the primary mechanism for socialisation on campus and the main responsible engine for ensuring safety on nights out and other similar events. Accordingly, his proposals for welfare training for all Ents committee members, as well as his proposed implementation – in collaboration with Welfare officers and non-profits (like EmpowerTheVoice) – of anti-spiking and drug safety measures for events in order to ensure that people can enjoy themselves in a safe and judgement-free manner have undoubtedly made him an evidently favoured candidate amongst younger students and those identifying as female.  His policies would extend to other, more specific aims: for example the placing of a crowd barrier at this year’s Trinity Ball to ensure greater crowd control, and the offering of by-stander training.


Having mentioned a preference of “cater[ing] to everyone’, Walsh has mentioned collaborating with other Universities’ Ents Committees to make city venues more accessible for people with disabilities. He later appended, in more general terms: “I cannot organise an event where I think someone will be mistreated or discriminated against.” Although these promises have not been intensely scrutinised during campaigning, the promise of higher accessibility and increased welfare has demonstrably resonated with the majority of students.

Larger-scale Events & Societal Inter-Dependence 

Perhaps the most innovative aspect of his campaign, and one that feeds largely into his accessibility measures, Walsh has put forth numerous ideas to novelise university event-making: accentuating the importance of activities that don’t revolve around drinking or clubbing, and offering an increased incidence of day-time events. He has noted that these events are especially attractive for those with long commutes. He has also mentioned making Ents resources available to all other societies in order to facilitate planning, allowing other societies to expand their events and maximise their exposure. He has also proposed to put together a greater number of intervarsity events and has proposed measures to increase attendance at larger-scale events, notably with the aim of amassing greater funding for philanthropic purposes. Again, his primary focus remains student welfare – in the broadest sense. As noted above, his proposed measures have proved appropriately popular among students of younger age; whereas his measures for increased society exposure, intervarsity events, and on activities less focused on drinking have made him a popular candidate across the board. His approach to variety of events has been well-balanced, demanding in addition to the aforementioned increase in nightclub security structural reform to the Pav. This may also have served to increase his overall popularity amongst all pollees.


Though the race is far from over, the large sample size and relatively small margin of error have shown not only that Walsh is very much a popular candidate across the board, but is also, to all practical purposes, guaranteed a win in this year’s race for Ents officer – thereby securing his position over his only adversary: RON.

Sébastien Laymond

Sébastien Laymond is the Editor of the 'SciTech' column for Trinity News, and is currently in his Junior Sophister Year reading law.