The current Campaigns & Engagement Officer, Miranca Bauer is expected to win a landslide victory in this year’s UCDSU Presidential race according to a poll run by The College Tribune. With 72.3% of the vote, Bauer’s 52.4% lead in the poll may seem unassailable but the current Graduate Officer Marc Matouc is unlikely to see his meagre 19.9% vote share be replicated when results come out on April 5th.

With razor-tight results predicted across the rest of the pre-election polls only the uncontested candidates will sleep soundly when voting stops…


Perhaps the most important of all the prompts contained in the survey, the question allowing students to choose between “Marc Matouc”, “Miranda Bauer”, and “Reopen Nominations” found 72.3% of those polled voting for Bauer, with only a slim 19.9% selecting Matouc. Matouc’s manifesto aims to appeal to new and disaffected voters who do not feel a connection to the union, these students may not be reached by this poll as a result. Despite this, the margin of victory, leaving Matouc closer to the dreaded Reopen Nominations than to his opposing number, should still trouble his supporters.

UCDSU Presidential polling marc matouc miranda bauer
UCDSU Presidential polling on Marc Matouc and Miranda Bauer by Hugh Dooley

With both candidates seeking to capture different elements of the student body, it is notable to observe that nearly 40% of students voting for Marc Matouc labelled the UCD Students’ Union as ‘Poor’ (23.5%) or ‘Useless’ (16.2%) in our polling. Bauer’s voter base views the Union more favourably, with just 11% of students rating UCDSU negatively. A considerable 65% of her voters rated the Union positively – 19.4% of whom believe the union has been ‘exceptional’ this year compared to just 4% of Matouc’s voters.

Education Officer:

The race for the position of Education Officer comes in a similar form to that of the Presidential race: lopsided. Of 322 responses, 78% selected “Tia Cullen” as their preferred choice, with only 16.8% choosing “Naomhán Mhaonaigh”. Only 5.3% of the responders selected the “Reopen Nominations” option. Both familiar faces in UCDSU, the contents of this survey find Mhaonaigh fighting an uphill battle before voting opens on April 2nd. 

Welfare Officer:

The race for the title of Welfare Officer is remarkably close, and for good reason; this is the only SU election between three candidates, all of which are incredibly distinct in their character and policy. The results find a relative majority (or plurality) within the votes, meaning that the lead candidate has achieved more votes than the others, yet has not received more than half of all votes cast.

Based on 347 responses, this question on the survey finds the current SU Non-Alcoholic Events Officer, Shauna Young, in the lead with 37.5% of the vote. Just points behind her, Ciara Donahue received 34.3% of the sample’s support. Donahue is the current SU Mental Health Campaigns Coordinator. 

In third position is Jacob Miller with 24.4% of the vote. Miller, unlike his competition, has positioned himself as an outsider to the SU; his experience comes from his position as ArtSoc Auditor as well as a range of experience during his time at the University of York.

The difference between last place Miller’s and first place Young’s position is only 13.3 per cent, not accounting for the margin of error. It is also important to note that Young only leads Donahue by a slim 3.2% — the title for Welfare Officer is anyone’s for the taking come April 2nd.

Graduate Officer:

The Graduate race was one of the most intriguing and uncertain at the start of election season. However, since the survey was made available, the Business College Officer, Simon Van Beek, has withdrawn from the Graduate Officer race, leaving Kylice McCardel as the sole candidate. Thus noted, the survey displayed McCardel in the lead with 72.1% of 321 responses – compared with just north of 400 students voting in the same election last year. Van Beek’s 19.7% pales in comparison to his comparison and his low support aligns with scrutiny regarding some of Van Beek’s being perceived as a critique of the SU’s support for Gaza.

Entertainments Officer:

Once again, the results display an incredibly close and entertaining race. The polling predicts that a shocking dark horse victory for SU-newcomer Daniel Devey over the incumbent Entertainments Officer Neo O’Herlihy is within our margin of error. The sitting sabbatical officer currently holds a narrow lead in the polling!

Of our sample, 46.8% supported Neo O’Herlihy, with just 41.8% voting in favour of Daniel Devey; 11.4% selected to “Reopen Nominations”, the highest vote for RON in any of the questions regarding Sabbatical positions. Bearing in mind the sample’s margin of error of 5%, this race is truly too close to call!

Campaigns and Engagement Officer:

The race of C&E is not close however, as Saskia McCormack Eiffe is running uncontested for this position; 88.7% of 319 responses selected her, with 11.3% selecting “Reopen Nominations”, just 0.1% less than the aforementioned results. McCormack Eiffe is the current Gender and Equality Campaigns Coordinator.

The Referendums:

Referendums? Referenda? It’s uncertain, but the results of the pre-election polling are far clearer in this section! 

Asked how they intend to vote in the referendum seeking to allow for class reps to be elected annually in elections held in the last four weeks of the second trimester, 67% of students said they would vote YES. The NO vote (14.1%) came a revealing third in the two-horse race, 4 points behind ‘Unsure’ (18.7%), an option which will not even appear on the ballot next week.

In the second referendum, students were asked how they intended to vote in the referendum seeking to reduce the quorum for referenda from 12.5% of the student body to 10%. Students were similarly certain in this decision, 54.3% of whom ticked the YES box. Once again, the NO side (22.3%) trailed ‘Unsure’ (23.4%) but clawed back slightly, merely trailing 1.1% in this referendum.

The real challenge in this election will be reaching the quorum of 12.5% needed to enact the changes students are indicating they are in favour of enacting.

Is this data reliable?

It is important to note that these statistics are subject to limitations inherent in the polling process and should be considered in full awareness of that fact. As a sample of the voting data, our results fall within that all-important 95% confidence interval.

Assuming a maximum voter turnout of 3,500 students, the opinion survey’s engagement of 353 students presents a margin of error of 4.9 per cent. This means that a value presented as “60 per cent” should be interpreted as a range, with a true value anywhere between about 55 per cent and 65 per cent. With last year’s UCDSU Executive Elections having a total valid poll of just 2042 voters, the confidence interval is likely greater.

This survey was made available through social media networks and was shared to Instagram stories by candidates and may be skewed as a result. However, higher engagement from students via social media demonstrates greater reach and Engagement™ and is likely to be replicated in the polls. Similar polling with the same methodology had a 100% prediction rate in 2021.

Reporting by Ben Floyd, Analysis and Data by Hugh Dooley