Excitement (and a queue) is building along King’s Parade as alumni flock to vote and rumours and scandals start to swirl in the chancellor elections.
Long queues to vote for the next Chancellor developed today, amid suggestions that some University bodies have been encouraging staff to vote for Lord Sainsbury.
A 40-minute long queue developed this afternoon as gown-clad alumni queued patiently outside Senate House today, as they waited to cast their vote. Rumours were circulating that it has become a two-horse race between Brian Blessed and Lord Sainsbury.
The Uni are also facing criticism from some quarters that they are trying to sway the election. A copy of an email sent from what is thought to be a uni body to certain alumni was sent to The Tab last night.
The email “reminds” members of the Senate that the official candidate is Lord Sainsbury, “who has been involved in the affairs of the University for a considerable period of time and who has been one of the largest single benefactors in recent years.” Although not explicitly endorsing Sainsbury, no other candidates are mentioned.
The penultimate paragraph has attracted some criticism
Meanwhile, the media have been fixated by the election, with interest in the election ranging from regional to multinational in the last few days. The outlets covering the race have ranged from ITV to The Wall Street Journal.
Media vans lurk nearby, producing coverage and seeking news
Busy scenes today will please uni bosses after a bit of an anti-climax yesterday. A spokesman in summer said that the uni was expecting 8,000 to turn up over the two days – as many as Oxford had a few years back – and voting hours were extended to cope with the perceived demand.
But despite these expectations, the voting area was virtually deserted by the afternoon yesterday, with nobody having to wait and officials stood at the gates of Senate House chatting to each other.
Celebrity Cantabs have yet to be spotted casting their votes, in spite of many declaring their allegiances. Stephen Fry backed pal Brian Blessed on Twitter.
The voting area looked fairly depleted by mid-afternoon yesterday.
Voting ends at 8pm tonight, and The Tab will be on hand to announce the results this Sunday.
Read The Tab’s profiles and interviews of the four candidates HERE.