About half of the electorate of this seat lives outside High Wycombe in the affluent Thames town of Marlow and many small villages where Tory support has tended to run deep. Furthermore, like many similarly sized communities in South East England, High Wycombe itself is usually predominantly Conservative supporting.
The town of High Wycombe, however, contains many working-class voters, industrial estates, and a non-white community, mainly Afro-Caribbeans and Asians, that totalled well over one-tenth of the population in 1991.
Hughendon Manor, the home of nineteenth century Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is located in this constituency. Disraeli purchased the manor before standing as the Tory candidate for Buckinghamshire county in 1847.
Sir Ray Whitney has held this seat since 1978, retaining it in 1997 despite a 14% increase in the share of the Labour vote.