Do the Brits view elections/politics the same way us Aussies do?

Im hoping this will be a fairly straightforward question but here me out.

In Australia, like in Britain*, we elect a party to run things, and the head of that party becomes Prime Minister and runs the country.
This is obviously different to the US where they elect a man (or in unpopular fiction, a woman ;)) President, and they run things.

The only thing is, in Australia it seems like we have a very American view on things. It isn’t Liberal vs Labor, it is Tony Abbott vs Julia Gillard.
Asking someone “Who did you vote for?” can get the answer of either “[party]” or “[party leader]” and no one bats an eyelid.

From the little British election coverage I have seen it seems like they are more focused on the parties, rather than the leaders.

For instance there was a bit of an uproar among some people when they woke up one day last year to find out they had a PM that they didn’t vote for**. (When Julia Gillard replaced Kevin Rudd as the leader of the Labor party). Half the problem was people thinking “Well I didn’t vote for her!”
Would that reaction happen in Britain?

So do Aussies tend to have an American way of looking at our PM? Or would it be the same in Britain?

*Im saying “Britain” first off and sticking to it, I’m hoping that is the right term, but please correct me if “UK” or even some other term is better.

**Ironically, one of the small reasons that I voted for Rudd over Howard in the 07 election is that Howard said he wouldn’t sit for the full term, and I didn’t want to be given a PM that I didn’t vote for.

I can’t speak for anyone else, but I definitely think in terms of the party I’m (trying to) elect. The individuals aren’t that important to me, any more than the current CEO of my mobile phone service provider is.

I don’t know how many people think in terms of who they’re electing locally vs. the total number of seats a party might get (I know strategic voting exists, but I don’t tend to do it).

I think it’s probably somewhere in between. There’s certainly fierce party loyalty and people do tend to vote with the party they prefer – and have a reasonable idea of policies/political leanings – but we aren’t robots and are not immune to a sweet talking party leader. Gordon Brown was perceived to be a big negative at the last election for Labour due to his inability to smooch the electorate, unlike his glossy predecessor.

Gordon Brown became party leader without a general election and I’m struggling to remember if there was a knee jerk reaction to this. There was undoubtedly mutterings in the press about him being selected without the electorate, but then the press needs stuff to talk about. I don’t remember huge nashings of teeth from the general populace – we know that we vote for MPs, not party leaders. And even party leaders/PMs need to get voted in by their constituents.

Surely it is the same in all two political party democracies - you vote for pile of shit A or pile of shit B.

Before Rudd/Gillard was first elected I was part of a focus group checking out advertising/polls/media coverage etc. The main impression I got was that the people in my group shouldn’t have been allowed to vote because they knew nothing. All they ever spouted were pathetic media slogans. When confronted about what they thought “their” party believed in they were embarrassingly ignorant.

So I think that what people “think” about politics doesn’t matter at all. Because they really don’t think at all, they just adopt a bunch of comfortable presumptions.

We had exactly this situation in the UK when Brown replaced Blair, and pretty much exactly that reaction.

A couple of caveats - Brown was unopposed in the leadership contest which meant he came endured less scrutiny/exposure than he might have done, and never really had to make the case for his leadership to the country, or even his party.

Secondly he was initially very popular with the electorate, and so the “not even elected” grumbles were restricted to the other parties. Only when he lost his ratings (and showed himself to be incompetent at running either his party or the government) did the complaints about his “succession” gain traction.

The election for a party leader is carried out amongst the paid up members of the political party in questions and is totally seperate to the general election.

You kinda missed the point.
I know that in two party political systems that there are two parties.

You just don’t seem to understand the difference between two two party political systems.

I’m quite aware of that (as a paid up member of the Labour Party). I was responding to the question in the OP using Brown as an example.