I lived in London for about 7 years of my life and take quite an interest in British politics despite no longer living there. Polling booths closed in the UK almost 6 hours ago and the counting of votes is continuing.
This is shaping up to be the most interesting and possibly closest election in a long time. Results are starting to come in with results declared in about 22% of constituencies at present. It's going to be a long night of counting. I'm pretty that in the last British election there wasn't really an obvious result until about 7am, or maybe even later. It's a slow process.
If you are following the events at all, the best place I am finding at the moment for coverage is Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight live blog which they are regularly updating with comment and an expected final outcome. They are currently complaining about the inaccuracy of polls which with our modern lifestyle is possibly not surprising.
The election coverage overall has highlighted to me that the first-past-the-post voting system used in the UK might be past its use-by date. With the rise of easy and fast communication, along with transport and calculation devices, the case for a proportional system is easily made.
The first-part-the-post system increases the likelihood of a two-party system developing and providing a stable parliamentary majority. It is also easy to tally the votes on election night as each constituency can come up with their tally and announce the candidate on the night (or very early the next morning as is the case in the UK).
However, there are several reasons why it's outdated.
Firstly, modern technology means that counting up a proportional election is no longer difficult. Votes are counted, counts are sent to a national office, results are release.
Also, despite voting for a candidate in a constituency, voters are really electing a party. Votes don't often differ from the party line and the bulk of policy is set by the party. Parties have become stronger over time, Yet the two major parties don't represent the views of many voters. Whatever constituency you live in, it makes sense to vote for one of the two strongest candidates in your area. Voting for anyone else means that your vote is wasted. Completely wasted.
At the last UK election, the Liberal Democrat party got 23% of the vote but only 8.8% of the seats. Considering their performance since the election, many consider it a blessing that they didn't get more seats. Other minor parties get minimal votes because there is no point. Despite that, UKIP is currently getting 10% of the vote but is likely to get maybe 1 seat. No matter what you think of UKIP's policies, they should be getting significantly more representation in parliament based on these numbers.
That's all I've got to say on the election at present. At least it's better than the US elections where a handful of voters in Iowa and Florida, plus occasionally some judges get to decide who the president is.