It is interesting that the 1983 General Election was probably the most sterile General Election programme that the BBC ever produced. In the studio there was just Dimbleby, Snow and Sir Robin Day (and guests). All the production staff were hidden out of view and Tony King & John Cole only made sporadic appearances throughout the night. The computer graphics were very basic and lacked effect and Snow was seated most of the night, therefore not jumping about the set as we came to expect in later years. It was also a short broadcast. The programme started just before 11pm and finished by 4am, before resuming the next day. I think I read somewhere that it was possibly not even made in studio one, so downsized was the production. It was until 1992 that the BBC returned to the vast set, complete with rows of production staff in the background.
We've discussed the eighties elections before and indeed they weren't in TC1, they were in TC6 - 1987 certainly was, I think 1983 was too. That was very much the style of the time, all slick and pristine, though things in telly do tend to go round in circles - of course in the last election we were back to the backstage staff being, er, backstage. It's like how in the nineties there was the trend for virtual sets (like the BBC News and MOTD) and then when they were revamped they got real sets again, and now for sport virtual sets are back in fashion.
As you say, it was quite an interesting election because it was the first with computer graphics, but the technology didn't exist to project them on a large scale, so Peter Snow stayed seated pretty much throughout, which was a bit of a contrast fom 1979 when Bob McKenzie had his big wall of graphics, and indeed in 1987 when the technology had moved on and Snow had a big screen. The coverage started at 10.40 but this wasn't unusual, in those days it was seemingly considered not worth coming on too early when there was nothing to report - in 1979, although they came on at 9.55, they went off again between 10.10 and 10.55 for Mike Yarwood. Similarly they kept on the 4am finish until 1987, and indeed it was billed in the Radio Times as finishing at 4am in 1992, but they decided to carry on. In 1983 especially though the whole result was done and dusted within a few hours.
While John Cole only made brief appearances in 1983, I presume he was also involved in the radio coverage. In the seventies the Political Editor - David Holmes in 1979 and Hardiman Scott in the 1974s - weren't on the TV coverage at all, they were on the radio (presumably still considered the senior service).