Record turnout for RCVS and VN Councils 2017 elections

3 May 2017

We can announce the results of the 2017 RCVS Council and Veterinary Nurses (VN) Council elections, which saw a record proportion of both veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses casting a vote for their preferred candidates, the majority of whom will take their seats for the first time.

For veterinary surgeons 22.8% (or 6,785) of those eligible to vote did so compared to 15.6% (4,403) last year. For veterinary nurses 14.5% (or 2,092) of those eligible to vote did so compared to 10.9% (1,435) of the profession last year. The turnout for both elections was the highest ever with the previous record for an RCVS Council election being 18.8% turnout and the previous record for a VN Council election being 12.8% turnout.

For the six available places on RCVS Council, five new members were elected and one existing member elected for four-year terms. The five new members are, in order of number of votes, Caroline Allen (3,073 votes), Sarah Brown (2,799 votes), Danny Chambers (2,634 votes), Cheryl Scudamore (2,087 votes) and Martin Peaty (1,909 votes). Current RCVS President Chris Tufnell was re-elected with 2,430 votes.

For the two places available on VN Council one new member was elected and one existing member re-elected for four year terms. Andrea Jeffery was re-elected with 1,293 votes, while Susan Howarth was elected with 1,064 votes.

Eleanor Ferguson, our Registrar, said: “Congratulations to all those elected to RCVS Council and VN Council and thank you to all those who stood as candidates in both elections.

The fact that both record numbers and proportions of the professions voted this year is testament to our efforts to further increase engagement with veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses." Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar

“We would especially like to thank Jerry Davies, Peter Jinman and Bradley Viner who are standing down from RCVS Council this year after deciding not to seek re-election, in addition to Chris Gray and Tom Witte for their contributions to RCVS Council and Marie Rippingale for her contribution to VN Council.

“Thank you also to all those who took the time to ask questions of our candidates and cast a vote. This year we made a concerted attempt to make it even easier for the electorate to vote, with secure links to the voting websites sent by email and regular email reminders to those who hadn’t yet voted. The fact that both record numbers and proportions of the professions voted this year is testament to our efforts to further increase engagement with veterinary surgeons and veterinary nurses.

“However, while we welcome these significant increases, we recognise that it is still a relatively small proportion of the profession voting in these elections and so will continue to think of new ways to engage with the professions not just at election time, but across our many activities."

All the successful candidates will take up their positions at RCVS Day – our Annual General Meeting and Awards Day – on Friday 7 July 2017 at the Royal Institute of British Architects where the formal declaration of both election results will also take place.

Each candidate in both elections was invited to produce a short video in which they answered questions put to them by fellow members of the professions and which appeared on our YouTube channel. The videos provided by the RCVS Council candidates received 4,661 views while those provided by the VN Council candidates received 377 views, compared to 1,169 and 779 last year, respectively.

The 2017 RCVS and VN Council elections were run on our behalf by Electoral Reform Services.

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