The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) has announced the results of the RCVS Council and VN Council elections, which this year see an even split of new faces elected and existing members reinstated to both Councils.

Re-elected to three of the six seats available on RCVS Council were current President Neil Smith (1,687 votes), incoming Standards Committee Chairman David Catlow (1,656) and Vice-President Jacqui Molyneux (1,304); and, from RCVS Day on 11 July 2014, they will be joined by new members David Bartram (1,674), Susan Paterson (1,496) and Mandisa Greene (1,296).

The two available places on VN Council were taken by existing member Hilary Orpet (611 votes) and new member Amber Richards (371).

Of particular note, following the all-male list of candidates for the 2013 RCVS Council elections and the record number of women standing in 2014, half of the successful RCVS Council candidates this year were women, two of whom being elected for the first time.

Unfortunately, overall turnouts in both elections fell, with 4,137 (16.1%) veterinary surgeons and 1,157 (10%) veterinary nurses voting. These turnouts and voter numbers compare with 4,661 (18.8%) and 1,329 (12.5%) last year, and ten-year averages of 3,927 (17.4%) and 869 (9.9%), respectively.

Commenting on the results, RCVS Registrar Gordon Hockey, says: “It was always going to be tough to beat last year’s record turnout, even with a record number of candidates standing this year, but it’s encouraging that voter numbers are still the third highest in the last ten years.

“I’d like to be amongst the first to publicly congratulate all the successful candidates this year, and to encourage those who weren’t successful this time to stand again in the future. I’m very much looking forward to working with our three new RCVS Council members whilst, at the same time, delighted that the profession has returned three existing members to their seats, enabling them to continue their work for the College.”

Chair of VN Council, Kathy Kissick, says: “Many congratulations to Hilary, who has been returned to the VN Council for the third time running, and to Amber, who I’m looking forward to welcoming to VN Council in July. Hilary’s experience and Amber’s fresh input will, I’m sure, combine to provide an excellent contribution to our ongoing work.”

Veterinary surgeons and VNs could cast their votes by post or online, with the former remaining the more popular method. Online voting increased in 2014, however, with 32% of veterinary voters and 25% of VN voters visiting the new election microsites, compared to 29% and 17%, respectively, voting online in 2013.

The 2014 RCVS and VN Council elections were run on behalf of the RCVS by Electoral Reform Services.