Tonbridge and Malling is a fairly diverse constituency, home to commuters, light industry, farmers and apple growers. Generally though, residents are comfortably-off and the workforce is largely non-manual. There is only a tiny ethnic minority population, unemployment is low, and 70% of homes are owner-occupied.
The commuting element is well served by the presence of the M20 and M26 motorways, although the landscape is mostly unspoilt and contains a good number of castles and country houses.
In Tonbridge itself, the Norman castle still houses important parts of the council’s offices. The hop farm in East Peckham is a reminder that this whole region was once the ‘Garden of England’; today it has been converted to a tourist attraction.
This has proved in the past to be loyal Conservative ground, remaining with the party even as half of the county was swept by the Labour tide in 1997.