1997 was a breakthrough year for Scunthorpe, as it saw the first ever election when the town enjoyed sole ownership of its constituency title. Previously the town had been paired with both Brigg and Glanford and on some occasions had even failed to receive any kind of mention at all.
Scunthorpe, with its reserves of ironstone, grew up as a steel town and the industry continues to survive today, although to a much lesser extent. The town underwent considerable industrial and commercial expansion in the late 1980s with firms like Citizen, Hygena, and McKeys Foods moving in, along with companies also associated with food and electronics. Because of the seat's industrial character it has one of the largest proportions of skilled manual workers in the country, at over 40% of the workforce.