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Rector election exit poll and analysis

By Jordan Hunter

Exit poll suggests that John Nicolson will become the next rector of The University of Glasgow


First preference: 56% John Nicolson, 27% Junaid Ashraf, 17% Lady Rita Rae

Second Preference: 21% John Nicolson, 17% Junaid Ashraf, 29% Lady Rita Rae, 33% Did not name second preference

The poll included 84 respondents and one ballot intending to be spoiled

Our prediction:

We believe based upon our polling results John Nicolson will win the rector election, and there is a strong chance for that to happen in the first round, but he would also win in the second round if it came to it. 


John is a heavy favourite for the rectorship according to our polling. Even if the polling was skewed towards John by as much as 5 votes John would win in the first round, even if the polls were skewed by 10 votes, John would win in the second. In order for Ashraf to win, he would have needed to crush the second preference ballot, but even with Lady Rae’s second ballots it’s not enough as they are split pretty evenly when distributed among both Nicolson and Ashraf where transferable. For Lady Rae to win, she would need to beat Junaid on the first ballot, but could reasonably be expected to have a toss up on the second ballot being the primary second choice among Ashraf voters. 

Despite having a shorter campaign the recent push has taken Nicolson over the top of his opponents. The data suggests that John’s society endorsements and recommendations along with LGBT representation were a dominating factor as to why students chose him. Ashraf’s supporters mainly cited his ability to be involved and diversity as motivating factors. Whilst Lady Rae’s support mostly came from people either distrusting politicians or the SNP, and those who believed the other campaigns were antagonistic. There is evidence to suggest that there was a high level of antagonism between the Nicolson and Ashraf campaigns as Lady Rae was the primary choice for second preference for both candidates. 

For this election voting blocs based on societies and recommendations from friends seemed to have played a large factor in who people voted for and Nicolson’s support from GUU and GULGBTQ+ society were instrumental in ensuring him the victory. 


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James Marianne

I guess Mr Hunter is as much of a punk as John.

Deacon Barlow

Hi GG, do we have have the final result?Also what does the rector do? There doesn’t seem to be a follow up
Many thanks,

Michael Powell

Great work guys:
By “exit poll” did you mean “pointless and unscientific online survey”?

James Marianne

I second Michael’s rhetorical quip in ribbing the poll’s inaccuracy – The work of clucking hens.