Aside from a few ex-council estates which retain significant proportions of social housing in parts of Mottingham and Bromley Common, this constituency is relatively prosperous in terms of income, has low unemployment and is largely suburban with significant parkland and sports areas. The 2011 census shows that the borough is 84.3% White European/British, lower than the national average (86%) and higher than then London average (59%). Until 2006 it was one of the Conservative Party's safest seats but the by-election of that year saw the party's electoral majority fall steeply from over 13,000 (in the 2005 election) to just over 600 votes (see below - "Election results").
The earlier Bromley, later Ravensbourne, seat was markedly prosperous in regional terms and did not elect Labour Party MPs during its 1918 to 1974 existence. One of the Ravensbourne wards, Plaistow and Sundridge, had a Communist Councillor in the 1940s. Prime Minister (1957-1963) Harold Macmillan was the MP for Bromley from 1945 until his retirement in 1964, when he was succeeded by John Hunt. Hunt, on the left of the Conservative party, held the seat (renamed Ravensbourne in 1974) until 1997.
A by-election was held on 29 June 2006, upon the death of the previous MP Eric Forth the month before, which returned London Assembly member Bob Neill as the new Conservative MP with an electoral majority of just over 600 votes - compared to the previous Conservative majority of over 13,000 in the 2005 general election. Turnout was down by a significant margin. In 2010 Bob Neill was re-elected with a Conservative majority greater than that achieved in 2005.