Reformed alcoholic and former barrister Clarissa Dickson Wright, 51, was elected after three recounts.
Ms Dickson Wright was not at the election count, as she was at a London book-signing, but speaking via a student supporter with a mobile phone, she said: "I am very happy and looking forward to getting on with the job." She promised to fight tuition fees, push for a bar on campus and seek to lower "horrendous" bus fares paid by students. In her election address she said: "Having been to university myself and experienced life as a student, I fully appreciate the difficulties you are facing." She won with 941 votes to her nearest rival, former Royal Marines Major Richard Eccles, who polled 718. She also beat former Scotsman editor Magnus Linklater.
The election for the historic role was called after the death of the Scottish National Party's Allan Macartney, who was former Rector and MEP for North East Scotland.