Question for those who have had recent elections - have you won when you are the challenger, rather than the system controller? The only election we have lost was when we were not in control of the system, post patch, a couple of weeks ago. All actions seemed to favour the control. We have won elections when we were the controller very easily (and won all elections pre-3.0 ofc)
My squad just won our fourth election attempt, and we did it with only two people who ran about a total of 60 missions. After our third attempt at going for the system control right off the bat, we decided to bring up one of the other factions with a station, and won a war for it. We then pushed for the election, had it come up as pending, then lost most of our people to Anthem. I ran like 5 missions on the second day while the other player had ran around 20 the day before. That day we were winning a close victory. Then we both independently decided to go out exploring. We both came back on the fourth day and saw that the faction was now winning a complete victory despite us not being there and no one else from our squad even being in the game. We both then ran a few missions just to make sure that we stayed on top of things and then the next day the system was ours.
The current thought in the squad is that gaining the smaller station somehow helped push our NPCs with running election-related missions, and the fact that a couple players had also ran missions boosted it further. There's also a chance that there were other players helping us, but I never saw any in our star system on the PS4 so they would of been on one of the other game systems.