A UNIVERSITY student was determined to make his vote count by taking on a gruelling 17- hour round trip to the ballot box.

Charlie Manthorp, 21, who is studying sports and exercise science at Exeter University left it too late to register for a postal vote for the general election, so he set off on the 256-mile journey from his lodgings in Exeter at 6am, arriving at his polling station at St Saviour’s Church, in Chadwick Road, Westcliff at 3.30pm.

After casting his vote, Charlie headed straight back to Exeter by coach, arriving at Exeter 11.30pm and staying up until the small hours to watch the election drama unfold.

He said: “After missing both the postal and proxy vote deadlines, I had little choice to partake in the journey after selecting Southend West as my constituency.

“It was a long day, but thoroughly worth the effort to exercise my democratic right.”

Revealing that he backed the country’s mood by voting Tory, he added: “I voted Conservative.

“I am not concerned about tuition fees rising because they are not a barrier to entry as they get paid back in the long term and when earning over a certain threshold.

“I voted Conservatives because I believe they have done a good job after the crash and I would like to give David Cameron the opportunity to finish what he has started.”

Charlie managed to grab a pint with his father, but his mum Sally Ann, of Ailsa Road, Westcliff missed out on seeing her son, due to his whistlestop tour.