Increased turnout in 2020 RCVS and VN Councils elections

28 April 2020

Today (Tuesday 28 April 2020) we are announcing the results of the RCVS Council and the Veterinary Nurses Council elections, both of which saw another record number and proportion of the professions turning out to vote this year.

For the RCVS Council election, 8,834 of the 33,857 eligible voters cast votes for up to three of the eight candidates standing in this year’s election for a turnout rate of 26.2%. This compares to 25.5% turnout in the 2019 election and 22.7% in 2018.

(l-r) Kate Richards, Melissa Donald, Richard StephensonThe results of the election, which was run on behalf of the RCVS by Civica Election Services and which closed for voting at 5pm on Friday 24 April 2020, are as follows:

  • Dr Kate Richards – 4,399 votes (ELECTED)
  • Dr Richard Stephenson – 3,943 votes (ELECTED)
  • Dr Melissa Donald – 3,807 votes (ELECTED)
  • Professor Stephen May – 3,121 votes
  • Dr Kit Sturgess – 2,816 votes
  • Peter Robinson – 2,642 votes
  • John Davies – 808 votes
  • Dr Tom Lonsdale – 535 votes

For this year’s VN Council election, 3,112 of the 18,228 veterinary nurses eligible to take part in the elections cast a vote for up to two of the 13 candidates, making a turnout rate of 17.1%. While there were no VN Council elections in 2019 and 2018, this compares to a turnout of 14.5% in 2017 and 10.9% in 2016.

(l-r) Claire Roberts, Matthew Rendle The results of the election are as follows:

  • Matthew Rendle – 1,028 votes (ELECTED)
  • Claire Roberts – 839 votes (ELECTED)
  • Dot Creighton – 511 votes
  • Jessica Beckett – 468 votes
  • Racheal Marshall – 384 votes
  • Lindsey Anne Dodd – 360 votes
  • Emma Foreman – 324 votes
  • Samantha Anderson – 302 votes
  • Cathy Woodlands – 265 votes
  • Kirsten Cavill – 242 votes
  • Rebecca Clark – 196 votes
  • Susannah Phillips – 122 votes
  • Megan Oakey – 60 votes

Eleanor Ferguson, RCVS Registrar and Returning Officer for both elections, said: “I would like to sincerely thank all those who put themselves forward for election this year, especially the record number of veterinary nurse candidates. I hope that, if unsuccessful this time, they will consider standing again in future years.

“I would also like to thank all vets and vet nurses who found the time to cast a vote, especially in view of the exceptionally difficult circumstances caused by the pandemic. Despite these difficulties, that there has been another record turnout for both elections is remarkable and only serves to strengthen the College’s governance structure and maintain the professions’ self-regulatory status.

“Many congratulations to all those who were elected this year and we look forward to welcoming them to their places on their respective Councils at our Annual General Meeting later this year.

“On the RCVS Council side I would like to thank both Professor Stephen May and Dr Kit Sturgess for their many years of combined service, both as members of RCVS Council and for serving on numerous committees, subcommittees and working groups. In Stephen’s case this includes his service as President of the RCVS in 2017-18 and for Kit as Treasurer of the RCVS from 2017 until the present.

“Regarding VN Council, I would like to thank Racheal Marshall for her service, including her tenure as Chair of VN Council since 2018, during which there was the launch of the new Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Nursing and the development of a new VN qualification accreditation framework.

“We look forward to further celebrating and recognising all of their achievements later this year.”

As Dr Sturgess had been elected to the position of Junior Vice-President of the RCVS for 2020-21 earlier this year, a new election for the position will need to take place amongst RCVS Council members during their June meeting. An election for a new Chair and Vice-Chair of VN Council will take place take place amongst VN Council members at a meeting in June.

Read more news