The seat and its predecessor seats have mostly belonged to the Labour Party since the 1950s, with the current MP Brian Donohoe having represented the seat since its creation in 2005, and was MP for the predecessor seat of Cunninghame South since 1992. Labour currently has a large majority of over 12,000, making for a safe Labour seat.
A diverse seat, it contains the more working class towns of Irvine and parts of Kilwinning to the north, as well as the more affluent towns of Troon and Prestwick to the south. The constituency also includes some rural villages such as Dundonald and Tarbolton.
This new constituency is centred on the historic burgh of Irvine, designated in the 1970s as a Glasgow overspill new town. Prestwick, site of the airport, and Troon on the coast are also included. The seat extends to the east and south up against the suburbs of Ayr.
From the 2010 general election the constituency is made from electoral wards in their entirely and shared by neighbouring seats. Those wards are Kilwinning, Irvine West, Irvine East, Kyle, Troon, Prestwick, and the extreme northern element of Maybole, North Carrick and Coylton electoral ward covering the stretch of the B744 from Belston to Annbank and the Auchincruive Agricultural College.