This seat was created in the third periodic review of constituencies in 1983, from a mixture of the previous Mid and Northern divisions of the county (also known as Lewes and East Grinstead).
The seat's history is that of a safe Conservative seat. The Liberal Democrats including their two predecessor parties have so far always presented the main opposition candidate. The best result for the Labour Party was in 2001, however was 29.5% below the share of the vote taken by the winner. Closest in percentage majority was the election of 1997 with a majority of 24% of the vote, still more than a marginal gap separated the two main local parties.
Approximately half of the population in the constituency lives in the area’s three main towns: Crowborough, Hailsham and Uckfield. The rest of the seat is predominantly rural and has many small towns, villages and hamlets. The Wealden landscape is varied, ranging from the Ashdown Forest in the north to the South Downs and the coastal part is included in seats to the south.
Buxted and Maresfield; Chiddingly and East Hoathly; Crowborough: East, Jarvis Brook, North, St Johns and, West wards; Danehill/Fletching/Nutley; Forest Row; Framfield; Frant/Withyham; Hailsham: Central and North, East, and South and West wards; Hartfield; Hellingley; Horam; Mayfield; Rotherfield; Uckfield: Central, New Town, North and Ridgewood wards; and Wadhurst in the Wealden District.
A considerable portion of the population is retired or work in London, Brighton or other regional employment bases at a managerial or advanced professional level. Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.5% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.