Before the 1997 election, William Waldegrave, the Conservative chief secretary to the Treasury, seemed safe.
The Liberal Democrats required a swing of 8% to win the seat and Labour was at a safe distance in third place.
However, Labour's Valerie Davey managed to secure a surprising victory with a small but sufficient majority of 1,593 votes.
Although it doesnít fit its generally affluent image, Bristol actually has the highest number of homeless people outside London, most of them in Bristol West.
Plus, one in eight houses in Bristol is in urgent need of repair and the 86,000 electorate is divided north to south between the have-nots and the haves.
While the south of the constituency contains elegant architecture, good quality housing, shops and restaurants, the remainder includes most of the central city area and the troubled St. Paulís district where there were serious riots in 1981.
However, as the home of the city's two universities, Bristol Zoo, the Catholic cathedral and Clifton College School, Bristol West is by far the most middle-class of the cityís constituencies.
Valerie Davey rose through Avon City Council from 1981 to 1996 eventually becoming its leader.