The 1970 University of Kent at Canterburyelection for the position of Chancellor was called following the death of the first Chancellor, Princess Marina, Duchess of Kent, on 27 August 1968. Following protracted discussions and arrangements the election was held on 7 May 1970, with the winner Jo Grimond installed in July 1970.
Joseph Grimond, Baron Grimond,, known as Jo Grimond, was a British politician, leader of the Liberal Party for eleven years from 1956 to 1967 and again briefly on an interim basis in 1976.
The death of Princess Marina came suddenly, less than four years after the University's creation, and no formal process had been developed for selecting a new Chancellor.
|“||The relevant Statute is, in fact, rather unhelpful about any details, merely saying that the appointment is to be made by the Court on the nomination of the Council after consultation with the Senate.||”|
Although in theory a Chancellor could have been appointed in the same manner as the Vice-Chancellor, growing demands for student participation in the running of universities and a belief that the Chancellor should represent the entire University led to the Council and Senate agreeing to a direct election by all students, monthly-paid staff and members of the Council.
Because of concerns that a frivolous candidate might be elected, a complex system of nominations was agreed:
Voting was to be by means of the alternative vote.
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The process was not begun until October 1969. The joint committee was initially chaired by Sydney Irving, Deputy Speaker of the House of Commons.
Sydney Irving, Baron Irving of Dartford PC was a British Labour Co-operative politician.
Only those who were approved by the committee and assented to the election had their names made public. Several people whose names were approved subsequently declined the position.
Those who were put to the electorate were as follows:
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By agreement the numbers were not revealed, but all four candidates "were understood to have received 'respectable' votes".Jo Grimond was declared elected, and formally installed at the start of July. He served in the post until 1990.
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