Conference is about to open and delegates are being called to the floor. Of course the other big election this year is for VP Welfare. It was set to be a race between the two Petes before Pete Woodward of Northumbria fame withdrew earlier this year. Pete Mercer of nearby Newcastle University is widely accepted to be the favourite is now running against only one opponent in the rather gentlemanly shape of Birkbeck’s Sean Rillo Raczka. Whilst you might be able to pass Mercer in the street without looking twice, the memorable Raczka, fresh out of his victory in the ULU Vice Presidential election, can often be found in full gentleman’s dress. He is by no means inconspicuous.
But who will fare best in this election? Pete presumably has the support of the Labour and OI factions whilst Sean is running on the far-left slate in what could be a 50 – 50 split. Mercer is keen not to appear cocky, professing that it’s “never goo to be too confident in an election”. The two certainly appear to be contrasting candidates, but which has the policies that are best for our national membership? Mercer is hoping to the role in a “new direction… one that actually improves the every day lives of students”, whilst Sean certainly has the experience of underrepresented groups such as mature and part-time students who arguably could be considered as more vulnerable.