The original riding of Brandon West existed from 1886 to 1888, after the City of Brandon was divided into two electoral divisions. It was eliminated in 1888, when the city became a single division again.
The modern riding of Brandon West was created in 1968, when the City of Brandon was again divided into two electoral districts. It was formally brought into being in the provincial election of 1969.
The riding is surrounded by Brandon East to the east and by Minnedosa in all other directions. The City of Brandon itself is located in the southwestern region of the province.
The riding's population in 1996 was 19,808. In 1999, the average family income was $56,860, and the unemployment rate was 6.30%. The service sector accounts for 16% of industry in the riding, followed by health and social services at 15%.
Brandon West includes the more economically advantaged section of Brandon, and usually elected Progressive Conservative members from 1969 to 1999. It was sometimes said that Brandon West voters elected Tories and Brandon East voters elected New Democrats to ensure that the city would have a member on the government side regardless of the provincial outcome.