As for the "independence" of the UK, well, let us not forget, once again, that the UK is not England alone, but basically the union of England and Scotland in 1707, then their union with Ireland in 1801. It's another way of creating a country than taking one's independence...
Even ignoring the fact that they only occupied a part of the country that's now the UK, it's a bit tricky to declare an independence day when no-one even knows the year they left - the best guess is around 410 but that's what it is.
Imagine if, instead of the 13 colonies uniting against the British and declaring a new country, the British had just left. Say that the colonists then fought hundreds of years of wars amongst themselves and against the native Americans, with numerous changes of regime and shifting balances of power, before finally a dominant force emerged and created something with the same territorial control as the modern USA.
You wouldn't celebrate independence day in those circumstances because there would be nothing meaningful to celebrate.
So if there were five candidates running for a seat in parliament then Candidate A could get 13%, Candidate B 24%, Candidate C 19%, Candidate D 29% and Candidate E 15%. In this case Candidate D gets elected, despite getting less than a third of the votes.
By contrast, voting in France happens in two rounds. If the same situation happened as above Candidates D and B would go to the second round. Anyone who voted for Candidate A, C, or E could now choose which of the remaining candidates to vote for this time.
In Australia people allocate preferences in voting. The votes above would just be described as first preferences. If a person's number 1 preference isn't in the top two once first preferences have been counted, their vote is transferred to the candidate they numbered 2 and so on, until one of the top 2 candidates have more than 50%.
I was overthunking the FPTP system part of the USA/UK one, and the whole ridiculous electoral college thing and ended up choosing wine-producing countries. Thinking is often my worst enemy...