Prior to 1992, the City of York constituency was a Tory marginal that had returned Labour MPs only twice in its history, despite its Rowntree Quaker connections. Perhaps this marginality could be explained by York's diversity. Its balance of tourist-friendly Viking and Roman history, combined with a solid industrial base beneath makes for a constituency of varied demands and character.
After winning this seat at the second time of asking in 1992, Hugh Bayley's 1997 victory saw his majority leap from 6,000 to over 20,000.
York is famed for its Minster and the medieval walls that surround the city. Vast throngs of visitors are attracted to the shops in the Shambles and Clifford's Tower, as well as the Jorvik Viking Centre which has proven hugely popular with tourists from all over the world.
York is also a notable railway centre, and manufacturing stronghold for engineering, leather and chemicals. The city is also famous for the Rowntrees chocolate factory, one of the city's largest employers and home of the Kit Kat chocolate bar, which is now a member of the Nestle group.