Peter Kendall is set to secure a third consecutive term as NFU president in one of the most intriguing electoral contests in the union’s history.
Having won nominations from 24 NFU county branches, Mr Kendall is almost certain to see off a challenge to his leadership by Somerset farmer Derek Mead.
But election results for the positions of NFU deputy president and vice president remain far from certain, with no fewer than 12 candidates contesting just two places.
Mr Mead was nominated by requisite signatures, a method which allows candidates to stand for election provided they can show they have mustered support of at least 20 NFU members.
But Mr Kendall’s popularity with NFU council members and commodity board chairmen means it likely he will be returned to office for a further two years next Wednesday (24 February).
Forecasting who will be elected deputy and vice presidents is much harder. Two of the 12 candidates in the running are standing for both the deputy and vice presidential roles.
The situation is further complicated by rules which mean incumbent deputy president Meurig Raymond must secure 75% of the vote to win because he has served two consecutive terms.
Mr Raymond is being challenged by NFU dairy board chairman Gwyn Jones and Lancashire farmer Thomas Binns, who are both standing for the position of vice-president. He also faces a challenge from Yorkshire farmer Paul Temple, who is hoping to make a comeback as NFU deputy president following his resignation as vice-president after the breakdown of his marriage last year.
Mr Temple has secured two county branch nominations. But it remains to be seen whether he has convinced the rest of NFU council that his personal problems are behind him.
Ten candidates will vie for the position of vice-president – a contest seen as wide open because no candidate has nominations from more than two county branches.
As well as Mr Jones and Mr Binns, candidates include Nick Adams, Rosey Dunn, Richard Hirst, Mark Leggott, Alastair Mackintosh, Adam Quinney, Anthony Rew and Guy Smith.