Pat Mathewson triumphs in Students’ Association elections

Photo: Students' Association
Photo: Students' Association
Photo: Students’ Association

Pat Mathewson was narrowly elected the next president of the Students’ Association last night, beating David Patterson by just 50 votes.

The news came at the end of a night that saw few shocks, with the results largely reflecting general expectations as well as most student media exit polls. Turnout was the highest ever numerically at 4,359 voters, although it fell as a percentage to 48.8 per cent, down from over 50 per cent last year. This year’s total electorate was 8,938.

The first position announced was AU president. With an initial distribution of 947, 521, 387 and 641 votes for Sarah Thompson, Jeremy Hipps, Andrew Van Kralingen and Cathy Pendreigh respectively, it had the potential to be close. The second- and third-preference votes didn’t fall in Ms Pendreigh’s favour, however, and her eventual 890 votes after three rounds of eliminations were not enough to see off Ms Thompson’s 1,238. Ms Thompson will be the third consecutive female AU president, following Jess Walker and Emily Griffiths.

Fay Morrice, running unopposed, was then elected director of student development and activities with a strong mandate of 1,892 votes to RON’s 245. Ms Morrice is the third female DoSDA in a row, taking up the role after Kelsey Gold and Meg Platt.

Ondrej Hajda won an outright victory in the race for director of representation, surprising some who had predicted a close contest with Ali West. But with 1,477 first-preference votes to Ms West’s 938, amounting to 59 per cent of the total, Mr Hajda’s win was decisive.

The four-way for director of events and services was much closer; after the initial distribution of votes there were just 46 in it between Leon O’Rourke and Lewis Harding. After several rounds of eliminations that saw Campbell Anderson and then Adetola Akanbi-Onasanya knocked out, the eventual result was equally slim: 1,101 votes for Mr Harding but 1,167 for Mr O’Rourke.

Lastly, it was the turn of the candidates for Association president. It was always going to be close between Pat Mathewson and David Patterson, and the votes reflected this: 1,283 to 1,210, plus 421 for Noah Ohringer. After Mr Ohringer was eliminated, the final count stood at Mr Patterson, 1,366; Mr Mathewson, 1,416.

Check out our elections hub for interviews with the winning sabbatical candidates, coming soon. A full list of results can be found on our elections liveblog. You can also watch our coverage of last night’s results below.


  1. I don’t think I’m alone in stating my discomfort with the manner in which Pat Mathewson won the election for SA President. Promotional material such as ‘Did you know that PM was a founder member of the ice hockey club?’ went beyond misleading to simply being dishonest – he didn’t found the Typhoons, he turned up for a bit in its first year of existence and then vanished until two weeks before the elections, presumably in order to back up his claim that ‘I’m the only candidate active in an AU team’. Hardly the accurate representation that regulations or decency calls for.

    Furthermore, given that the elections rules clearly state that only members of the SA (i.e. students) can campaign, and that no pre-existing website or social media should be used for campaigning purposes, how can it fly that The Vic plasters promotion for Mathewson all over their Facebook, including a cover photo?

    I think that the Elections Committee need to investigate these potential breaches of their rules thoroughly, and if there is indeed evidence of wrongdoing, then sanctions should be applied – regardless of whether that changes the current result of the election. Indeed, given that the winning margin is a mere fifty votes, I think that it’s even more important that this is cleared up.

    • PS – anyone who shares these views has until Tuesday to submit a statement of their discontent to saelect@. Do you really want a liar and a charlatan running your Union?

      • Which member of the Kate Kennedy club are you? Get a life… Both Dave and Pat fought good campaigns and are lovely people… If you think that there’s massive underhand dealings going on then you’re a paranoid weirdo! This is student politics in St Andrews – there’s not enough people for there to be a conspiracy.


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