I intend not to vote in the General Election next week in the UK. This made me wonder: what would happen if no one voted?
Well somebody would vote, at the very minimum candidates would vote for themselves. That would get us to fill up the benches in the house of commons, and then Her Majesty The Queen could legally pick whoever she likes to be the Prime Minister.
But in the actual scenario where absolutely nobody voted. Well the candidates would draw lots. The candidates for MP's would stick there names into a hat, and the returning officer would draw out a name who would then become the MP. The parliament will then be filled with 650 random candidates and the Queen would just call upon whoever she thought could command the most respect to become PM.
Alternatively if there are only two candidates it is determined by coin toss with a £1 coin (although don't ask me if it's going to be the new £1 coins or the old ones).
A similar example if when two candidates drew straws to determine who should win.
In the event of a tie in an election to the Westminster parliament, the returning officer is empowered to decide between the the candidates tied for first place through the drawing of lots (see 6.39 here). Assuming this is done fairly, then a candidate will be chosen at random from all those running in each of the 650 constituencies in this election. Since the Conservatives are contesting most seats (638) with Labour second (631) and Liberal Democrats third (629), one of these is likely to be the largest party. However, since the Greens are contesting 468 seats and UKIP 378, it's likely no single party would have a majority. As such, it's highly likely that, just as in 2010, there would be a period with the previous government continuing, as horse trading went on to form a stable coalition.
The one minor fly in this ointment in this analysis is that far more candidates stand in seats with media interest, like those of the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, so it's proportionately less likely for those people to retain their seats. This might lead to the odd image of Theresa May as Prime Minister while no longer MP for Maidenhead.