The constituency is slightly more elevated than the surrounding areas. Barnet was once a narrow projection of Hertfordshire into the county of Middlesex, and consisted of an agricultural market town. The town became well connected to central London by the London Underground network and is today prime suburbia, with many of its properties semi-detached with substantial gardens as well as having many small parks and nature reserves. The area has few tower blocks for social housing.
It has been held by a Conservative since its creation for the February 1974 general election, and withstood the Labour landslide in 1997 by just over 2% (1,035 votes). The 2015 result gave the seat the 92nd most marginal majority of the Conservative Party's 331 seats by percentage of majority. In 2017, the Conservatives came closer than ever before to losing Chipping Barnet, with incumbent Theresa Villiers retaining the seat by just 353 votes, with Labour then holding the majority of councillors in the constituency, in Brunswick Park, Coppetts, East Barnet, and Underhill. However, as a result of the 2018 Barnet London Borough Council elections, the Conservatives held a majority of councillors in Brunswick Park, High Barnet, Oakleigh, and Totteridge.
As of the 2021 by-election in East Barnet  ward, the Conservatives held a majority of councillors in this ward until the 2022 local elections.
In the 2022, the Conservatives local representation on Barnet Council in the constituency became confined to the new Totteridge and Woodside ward, along with High Barnet and Barnet Vale which split their seats between Conservatives and Labour, with Labour winning Whetstone (rough successor to Oakleigh) for the first time, recovering ground in Brunswick Park by winning all three seats and regaining the seats they had lost in East Barnet in 2018 and 2021.
1974–1997: The London Borough of Barnet wards of Arkley, Brunswick Park, East Barnet, Hadley, and Totteridge.
1997–2010: As above plus Friern Barnet.
2010–present: The London Borough of Barnet wards of Brunswick Park, Coppetts, East Barnet, High Barnet, Oakleigh, Totteridge, and Underhill.
For the 2010 general election, following a review of parliamentary representation and as a consequence of changes to ward boundaries, the Boundary Commission for England recommended that parts of Underhill ward and Coppetts ward be transferred to Chipping Barnet from the constituencies of Hendon and Finchley and Golders Green respectively. It also recommended that a small part of Mill Hill ward be transferred from Chipping Barnet to Hendon.