Parkville Station

The longest day — day 2, UMSU elections 2016

Tuesday has late polling — with polls in Union House remaining open for an extra hour and a half, until 6.30pm. Historically, this was to allow students working, at other campuses, on placements, or otherwise not on campus during the working day an opportunity to vote without going through the rigmarole of a postal vote.

Whatever the reason, the result was a long day without much on offer for campaigners after class ending at 5.15pm: the main description we heard was the day was “long”.


Polling place Monday Tuesday Running total
Union House 252 249 501
Baillieu Library 330 400 730
FBE Building 82 95 177
Burnley 15 15
VCA 37 37
Total 664 796 1,460

The wrap

Despite its length, Tuesday seems to have produced relatively little in the way of reportable excitements — inter-ticket sniping remaining at low levels (although, from our highly-unrepresentative sample, seeming to be on the rise).

Campaigners spotted: More!, Stand Up!, Left Focus, Independent Media, Create, Activate (we didn’t see any Whigs today). We also saw the first of the Hard Memes posters.

Stand Up! tried to change the game by introducing “an Australian first”, a Snapchat geofilter. Unfortunately we can’t work out how to make Snapchat tell us how many times it’s been used (we, in fact, struggle to use Snapchat entirely), but this is the cutting edge of mobile-enabled elections (at least until someone gets the polling places made into Pokéstops and buys a bunch of lures).

We got a quote from Snapchat; to cover the campus (bounded just by Grattan St, Swanston St, Tin Alley, and Royal Parade) for an hour seemed to cost $USD104. We’ll let you do the maths.

Tuesday saw the Burnley and VCA polling places open for the first time — Burnley students will have one more opportunity to vote tomorrow, while VCA students will have tomorrow and Thursday. Both campuses recorded fewer votes than they did last year (Burnley dropping from 20 to 15 and the VCA from 76 (in 2014), to 57 (in 2015) to 37 this year). At the VCA, this is probably attributable to having no VCA-specific positions under contest for the past two yearsedited – see note [1]; Burnley is a little harder to explain, but turnout is so small there anyway, we’ll mumble a bit and say ‘statistical fluctuation’.

Being a parochial Parkville publication, we didn’t go to either the VCA or Burnley, so we can’t report with complete confidence on how things were down there. Nevertheless, campaigners who did go to the VCA reported there was light campaigning activity, which perhaps was good for potential voters (avoiding the Parkville mobbing effect) — although as noted above, it doesn’t seem to have translated into turnout.

To relieve the boredom, we went around to campaigners and asked for their how to votes (clearly, the first time for several of them that they’d been asked for one).

They’re here, for your at-home–how-to-vote–referencing-pleasure:

(These were all collected on Monday — except for Activate’s and the two Chinese-language versions, which were collected on Tuesday. They may well have been updated since then.)

[1] Originally we wrote that the drop was likely due to having “no VCA-specific positions under contest” — a technically true statement but one that carried the implication there was a contest last year (there wasn’t). This makes the drop in turn-out a bit more puzzling, but we do note (and have updated the article to say) turn out was much higher in 2014, when there was a contest.

Click here to read more from Parkville Station newspaper.