This Tory-held seat was created as a result of a boundary review in 1995.
It is predominantly rural and lies between Leicester and Nottingham. The constituency was named after the local government district and the ancient forest of Charnwood.
This is not a key target seat for Labour or the Liberal Democrats.
The only small pocket of reliable Labour support is in Thurmaston which borders Leicester City where the only two Labour councillors on CharnwoodCouncil are based. Otherwise the council is overwhelmingly Conservative.
Major employers in the area include Astra Pharmaceuticals, Morris Mechanical Handling, Taylors Bell Foundry, Brush, 3M Health Care and Redland Aggregates.
Key skills areas are hosiery, knitwear, heavy electrical engineering and pharmaceuticals.