Australians following the UK election count on Friday (Australian time) will be watching a process that is familiar in broad outline, but strangely alien in detail.
The electoral systems of Australia and the United Kingdom may have a mid-19th century common ancestor, but elections in the two countries have since evolved into separate species.
The UK’s electoral processes are essential unchanged since 1918, the first UK election held with manhood suffrage and a single day for polling.
In Australia election night is about analysing the results of individual polling places as they report their results, unpicking the figures to work out the winner.
In the United Kingdom there are no progressive results. Results in the 650 constituencies will revealed as final figures, one by one, through the night with every constituency declared by lunchtime on Friday.
Early on it is all about the exit poll, theatrically revealed as the clock strikes 10pm. From then it is a process of modifying the prediction based on early declarations until there enough results from various parts of the country to confirm or overturn the exit poll prediction.
Read More »How the 2019 UK Election Count Will Unfold