MAGGIE Chapman, the Scottish Greens co-convenor whose was at the centre of a 'dirty tricks' row has been re-elected as the new Rector of the University of Aberdeen.

Ms Chapman was elected after a fractious process which led to an election being scrapped in November over allegations that supporters of the Greens leader were involved in tearing down campaign posters of her rivals vying for the post.

She collected 1248 votes under the transferable vote system with her closest rival, law student Israr Khan, coming second with 891 votes.  

The scrapped election led to an "abuse of power" row after a leaked document revealed that the elections committee indicated that the decision was against the "interests of fairness and natural justice" because Ms Chapman's team had no right of reply to the allegations.

HeraldScotland: Maggie Chapman has been co-convener since 2013

Despite pressure from Ms Chapman to divulge the original results in the "interests of democractic transparancy" the University of Aberdeen never divulged.

But now after another controversial election campaign, in which one of the candidates was accused of 'trans-bashing', Mr Chapman has again emerged victorious.

A "delighted" Ms Chapman who will commence her new three year term as Rector from April 1 said:  “I would like to say a huge thank you to my campaign team who have worked so hard, and to all those who voted for me and have put their faith in me to deliver my manifesto. 

“I look forward to working with students in the next three years to protect EU and International students, to work for student workers’ rights, to ensure student accommodation becomes more affordable for all, and to deliver all the other pledges from my campaign manifesto.”

The university scrapped the original election after finding what it thought were widespread breaches of electoral rules prompting a decision to re-run.

There were complaints a smaller number of posters were also removed by other candidates but it was claimed Ms Chapman's campaign was the worst offender.

But the move condemned Ms Chapman's campaign team who strongly deny any wrongdoing and said there was no evidence to support the claims.

They insisted it was "much more likely" the complaints were a ruse to annul the election and the decision undermined "the votes cast by students in good faith for all candidates".


Her campaign team said it remained clear to everyone that the Scottish Green Party co-convenor had won and that the election process was sound, with no suggestion of vote-rigging, voter intimidation, or impersonation.

The university student body also called for the re-vote to be rescinded saying the decision to scrap the election was "undemocratic" and also called for the results of the original vote to be declared.

Ms Chapman said at the time:"Farce doesn't even begin to describe it. It is clear that the university management neither understands proper governance, nor cares that they don't."

In the second poll an attempt was made by some students to get the campus cat Buttons to be a candidate, which was seen as a commentary on how some felt the election had been conducted.  The moggie was rejected.

The ancient post of Rector of the University of Aberdeen has a rich tradition dating back to the foundation of the institution in 1495 and has been held by notables such as former Prime Ministers Winston Churchill and Herbert Henry Asquith, steel industrialist Andrew Carnegie and actor Iain Cuthbertson.

The Rector since 1860 was the students' only representative, and, in more recent years, their main representative on the University Court.


Congratulating Ms Chapman on her election success, Aberdeen University Students’ Association president Lawson Ogubie, said: "We are very pleased to see that the Rectorial elections 2018 have been successfully concluded and results announced. We heartily accept the results as a reflection of the students’ voice.

“On behalf of the Students’ Association I congratulate Maggie Chapman on her re-election as our Rector and we look forward to working with her again."

Ms Chapman's opponents in the new election were singer, broadcaster and producer Fiona Kennedy, student Israrullah Khan, solicitor James Steel and Angus Hepburn, a second year business student from Kippen, near Stirling.