By Tim Smith
At the 2010 election there was a considerable pro-Labour bias in the electoral system. Despite a 7.3% lead in votes over Labour in Great Britain, larger than had been achieved in outright victory by Ted Heath in 1970 and Margaret Thatcher in 1979, the Conservatives finished 19 seats short of an overall majority. The bias in the electoral system was estimated to have been 54 seats in Labour’s favour, such that if the two parties had achieved the same vote share, Labour would have won 54 more seats than the Conservatives. This bias in the system was actually considerably smaller than that estimated at the 2005 election, (111 seats). Labour had won an overall majority of 66 seats on a vote share of just over 3% more than the Conservatives in Great Britain. They had won 93 more seats than the Conservatives in England despite polling 70,000 fewer votes.