‘It was a no-brainer’: Meet the people casting votes weeks ahead of polling day

Members of the public from London to Shropshire have already cast their votes for the General Election by post.

The deadline to submit a postal vote application for people in England, Scotland and Wales is 5pm on Wednesday.

However, some people have sent off their postal vote already, including Jane Beesley, an artist who lives in Shrewsbury, Shropshire.

She received her postal vote on Saturday, filled it out and posted it back the same day.

A black and white selfie of Jane Beesley wearing glasses and a beanie hat
Jane Beesley sent her vote off on Saturday and hopes more people are encouraged to apply for a postal vote (Jane Beesley/PA)

Ms Beesley, 66, has been a Labour Party member for roughly 20 years and said she cast her vote fairly quickly because Ms Buckley has a “strong community presence”.

“I have met Julia Buckley a few times and (Labour) has done a lot of canvassing,” she told the PA news agency.

“She’s also attended a lot of community meetings that I’ve been at and she has a very strong community presence, so it was a no-brainer.

“I would also like to see more women in Parliament.”

Ms Beesley said the most difficult part of the process was concentrating enough so that she could “put the X in the right box”.

She added Labour’s stance on issues including the NHS aligns with hers.

An envelope containing a postal vote
Jane Beesley casting her vote by post (Jane Beesley/PA)

“I hated the fact that I could sometimes miss voting, so with a postal vote you get a lovely long window, so there was a good chance I would be around to be able to vote,” she added.

She hopes more people are encouraged to apply for a postal vote.

“I think it would be good if more people knew about the postal vote and that they could apply for it,” she said.

“It would be good to get more people involved in voting to up the numbers.”

Simon Darvill received his postal vote on June 14 and completed it and sent it off on Monday for Sunny Brar, the Labour Party candidate for Hornchurch and Upminster.

A headshot of Simon Darvill smiling at the camera wearing a white shirt and a black jacket
Simon Darvill said he has had a postal vote since roughly the age of 18 as his jobs have often required him to travel (Simon Darvill/PA)

Although he is no longer an active member of the party, he has previously had roles in or connected to Labour, including being chair of Young Labour – the youth section of the Labour Party – from 2013 to 2016.

He said he wanted to vote for a party which shared his values.

Mr Darvill, who lives in Upminster, told the PA news agency: “I live in a pretty safe Conservative seat, so I’ve always been aware living here that my vote isn’t particularly worth much because of the system we have, but it is really important to vote and the Labour Party match my values.

“I wouldn’t say I’ve ever really thought about anything different.”

He said he has had a postal vote since roughly the age of 18 as his jobs over the years have often required him to travel frequently, usually around polling day.

A envelope containing a postal vote being put into a red postbox
Simon Darvill casting his vote by post (Simon Darvill/PA)

“It’s really handy for me because I know the party I’m going to vote for.”

He said Sir Keir Starmer is “fantastic” and has “changed” the Labour Party in a positive way.

“When Jeremy Corbyn won, it was quite vicious and angry and actually one of the reasons why I stepped away from an active role in the Labour Party was because I felt my life would be better without it because it was quite nasty,” he added.

“That’s not the case any more and the Labour Party is a more friendly and good place.

“I feel like we’re all a bit fed up of the bravado and I think he’s the right leader for the right time.”

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