An Indian-origin local grocer Abdul Arain, who had stood for elections to become the 108th chancellor of the University of Cambridge, on Sunday lost to the official candidate Lord Sainsbury, who won beating two others.
Arain, who made news with his candidature, polled the least number of votes.
University sources told PTI that of the 5,558 votes cast, Lord Sainsbury polled 2,893 votes, while actor Brain Blessed got 1,389, barrister Michael Mansfield 964 and Abdul Arain 312 votes.
Lord Sainsbury, owns the major retail chain, Sainsbury's, will be the 802-year-old university's 108th chancellor.
The post is one of the most prestigious in academic, but usually least contested, until this election.
Arain opposed plans to open a Sainsbury's superstore near his grocery in an election campaign that was widely billed as a David and Goliath contest.
The election to the chancellorship was held after Prince Philip retired in June.
Voting was held on Saturday and Sunday, with members of the university Senate travelling from Hong Kong, the US and elsewhere casting their votes.