The constituency was re-created as a county constituency in 1983 from parts of the seats of Christchurch and Lymington, North Dorset and New Forest. It has since 1983 seen strong Conservative majorities, with the exception of a 1993 by-election caused by the death of Robert Adley when it was won by Diana Maddock a Liberal Democrat. The Conservatives regained the seat at the next general election in 1997, despite their landslide defeat nationally and Chris Chope has retained it ever since. As of 2017, it is the second strongest Conservative seat in terms of voteshare (69.7%) and strongest in terms of majority (49.6%) in the country, although 2017 also saw Labour come second in the seat for the first time in history, having historically been far weaker than the Liberal Democrats and, in 2015, UKIP.
1983–1997: The Borough of Christchurch, and the District of Wimborne wards of Ameysford, Ferndown Central, Golf Links, Longham, St Leonards and St Ives East, St Leonards and St Ives South, St Leonards and St Ives West, Stapehill, Tricketts Cross, Verwood, West Moors North, West Moor South, and West Parley.
1997–2010: The Borough of Christchurch, and the District of East Dorset wards of Ameysford, Ferndown Central, Golf Links, St Leonards and St Ives East, St Leonards and St Ives South, St Leonards and St Ives West, Tricketts Cross, Verwood, West Moors North, West Moors South, and West Parley.
2010–present: The Borough of Christchurch, and the District of East Dorset wards of Ameysford, Ferndown Central, Ferndown Links, Longham, Parley, St Leonards and St Ives East, St Leonards and St Ives West, Stapehill, and West Moors.
The area is not as rural as the adjoining New Forest constituencies, nor as urban as Bournemouth and Poole, and contains a mixed assortment of coastal retirement havens, outlying Bournemouth suburbs and the town of Christchurch itself which has expanded to include dedicated villages of sheltered housing on its outskirts.
Consequently, the present Christchurch seat contains one of the most elderly electorates in the country – only Eastbourne and Devon East have an older average voter age and Christchurch has the highest proportion of over-60s of all UK seats. Having recovered from an early-1990s by-election loss, it is a safe Conservative seat, with MP Christopher Chope attaining a majority of over 30% at the last general election. It is the safest Tory seat in the South West and on most analyses is on the fringe of the area that usually qualifies as the South West, served by a station with direct links to the capital and closest to London.
Another General Election was required to take place before the end of 1915. The political parties had been making preparations for an election to take place and by the July 1914, the following candidates had been selected;