It’s Biden! QE boys pick their winner in mock elections

It’s Biden! QE boys pick their winner in mock elections

Pupils overwhelmingly voted for Joe Biden in the School’s mock US elections, which were carefully modelled on the real poll taking place today on the other side of the Atlantic.

Boys voted in their forms yesterday on their first day back after the holiday, having spent the weeks before half-term finding out more about the two main presidential candidates and the whole American electoral process.

The results, which were announced to the forms today, show that the Democrats’ candidate easily broke through the 270-vote threshold needed to win the electoral college, gaining 444 of the 538 votes available. Forms representing big-hitting states such as California (with 55 votes) and New York (29) backed Biden, even if there were a few upsets, such as Florida (29) returning as Republican.

The popular vote was also emphatic: there were 821 votes for the Democrats, compared with just 322 for the Republicans. Of the six year groups voting, only Year 10 voted red (Republican), while Biden swept the board in Year 7.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “We saw this as a great opportunity for our pupils to expand their knowledge of politics and current affairs, and to enjoy the cut and thrust of an election themselves.

“Our History & Politics department and Extra-Curricular tutors took a lead in providing boys throughout the School with information and resources aimed at stimulating debate, and there were contributions from a number of our Year 12 Politics A-level students.

“We now wait with great interest to find out if American voters concur with the verdict of our boys!”

To start things off, a PowerPoint presentation on the basics of the election was shown to all the tutor groups.

In order to make the experience as realistic as possible, every tutor group was allocated a state. Each had the same number of votes as in the electoral college, ranging from Alaska, Wyoming, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and Vermont, all with just three votes apiece, through to Texas, with 38, and California, with its 55.

Boys were challenged to research the state allocated to their form, including topics such as which party it normally votes for, what the major issues there are, and whether it is considered a ‘battleground state’.

To keep the mock election Covid-safe, most of the activities took place online, with links provided through a dedicated page of the School’s eQE digital platform, created by the History & Politics department.

To coincide with the actual election day, a US-themed lunch was served today in the QE Dining Hall: the menu including cheeseburgers, hot dogs and sweet potato fries, with cream soda and popcorn available, too.

Information and links on the eQE election page included:

  • Information-packed 10-minute podcasts created by Year 12 members of the QE Politics Society, Utsav Atri, Alexandre Lee and Ciaran Price.
  • QE’s own presidential debate, which was recorded as a video. Ciaran was again involved in this, speaking for Biden, while Ethan John, also of Year 12, represented Trump, with Christian Emmanuel putting the questions.
  • A series of opinion polls. Asked which candidate had performed better in the final presidential debate, for example, 114 boys chose Biden, while just 35 picked Trump.
  • An election forum, where boys have taken full advantage of the opportunity to field their own comments about the elections over the past few weeks in response to questions posted both by their teachers and by classmates.

The eQE page also featured a link to information about the elections for 35 Senate seats taking place at the same time as the presidential contest.