Devon was subject to very significant boundary changes which came into effect in 1997 and Devon South West was one of the most controversial outcomes of the process. The problem facing the commissioners was that that the population of the city of Plymouth did not justify its three parliamentary seats. As a result the commission created this new seat.
Most of Devon South West’s geographical area comes from the old South Hams constituency, but this only provided 23,000 of the electorate. The more populous region of South Hams became the new Totnes seat. The biggest component of this new seat, 40,000 voters, were transferred from Plymouth Sutton and a further 3,000 electors came from Devon West and Torridge.
The physical landscape is varied, but very beautiful. A large part of the Dartmoor National Park encroaches to the north, and the coastline in the south forms part of a designated Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Apart from the wealthy Plymouth suburbs, the largest town is Ivybridge, which has been the site of some light industrial development.