The seat elected between 1868 and 2001 Conservatives. Exceptions in this period took place when the two-then-three main British parties' policies were beginning to coalesce. The first was a continuation of the centuries-old representation of Guildford by influential members of the Earl of Onslow's family, including a single member winning three widely spaced elections, before being defeated by a further member of the same family in its minor Sussex and British Indian branch, then the majority of the seat's voters were again swayed toward the Liberal landslide of the 1906 general election.
Successive elections in 2001 and 2005 saw marginal majorities of under 2% of the vote - in favour of a Liberal Democrat and then a Conservative. The 2015 result brought the incumbent MP a conservative majority of more than 41%, up from 14% in 2010.
1885-1918: The Municipal Boroughs of Guildford and Godalming, the Sessional Division of Farnham, and part of the Sessional Division of Guildford.
1918-1950: The Municipal Boroughs of Guildford and Godalming, the Urban District of Haslemere, the Rural District of Hambledon, and the Rural District of Guildford except the civil parish of Pirbright.
1950-1983: The Municipal Borough of Guildford, in the Rural District of Guildford the civil parishes of Artington, Compton, Puttenham, Shackleford, Shalford, Wanborough, and Worplesdon, and in the Rural District of Hambledon the civil parishes of Alfold, Bramley, Busbridge, Cranleigh, Dunsfold, Ewhurst, Hambledon, Hascombe, and Wonersh.
1983-1997: The Borough of Guildford wards of Christchurch, Friary and St Nicolas, Holy Trinity, Merrow and Burpham, Onslow, Pilgrims, Shalford, Stoke, Stoughton, Tongham, Westborough, and Worplesdon, and the District of Waverley wards of Blackheath and Wonersh, Bramley, Cranleigh East, Cranleigh West, Ewhurst, and Shamley Green.
1997-2010: As above less Tongham ward.
2010-present: The Borough of Guildford wards of Burpham, Christchurch, Friary and St Nicolas, Holy Trinity, Merrow, Onslow, Pilgrims, Shalford, Stoke, Stoughton, Westborough, and Worplesdon, and the Borough of Waverley wards of Alfold, Blackheath and Wonersh, Cranleigh East, Cranleigh Rural and Ellens Green, Cranleigh West, Ewhurst, and Shamley Green and Cranleigh North.
The constituency covers Guildford and a surrounding area in the county of Surrey.
Constituency boundaries were redrawn in time for the 1950 general election. From 1918 to 1950 the west part of Surrey had been represented by three constituencies - Farnham to the west, Chertsey to the north east and Guildford to the south east. The 1950 boundary changes saw the creation of an additional constituency in the west part of Surrey, namely Woking. As a result, the constituency of Guildford significantly reduced in size, in both geographically and in population terms. To the south the areas of Godalming, Elstead, Thursley, Whitley, Haslemere and Chiddingford, all of which had previously been part of the constituency of Guildford, were transferred to the constituency of Farnham. To the east the areas of Send, Ripley, Wisley, Ockham, St Martha, Albury, Shere, Clandon and Horsley, all of which had previously been part of the constituency of Guildford, were transferred to the mid Surrey constituency of Dorking.
The boundaries, which emerged in the run up to 1950 general election, namely a constituency centred on the town of Guildford plus an area southwards towards Cranleigh, became, with small changes in subsequent boundary reviews, the basic shape for the constituency of Guildford throughout the later part of the 20th century.
Constituency boundaries were redrawn in time for the 1918 general election. From 1885 to 1918 the west part of Surrey had been represented by two constituencies - the north part of west Surrey was the constituency of Chertsey, the south part the constituency of Guildford. Boundary changes in the run up to the 1918 general election resulted in an increase from two to three constituencies in west Surrey - Farnham to the west, Chertsey to the north east and Guildford to the south east.
As a result of these boundary changes, the constituency of Guildford lost the areas of Ash, Normandy, Seale, Frensham and Farnham, towards its west, but to the east gained the areas of Merrow, Send, Ripley, Ockham, Wisley, Clandon and Horsley; all of which had previously been part of the constituency of Chertsey.
Constituency boundaries were redrawn in time for the 1885 general election. From 1868 to 1885 the west part of Surrey had been represented by two constituencies, one known as Guildford (which consisted of the town centre of Guildford and little else) and one constituency known as Surrey Western, which comprised the rest of that part of the county of Surrey. The Guildford constituency was both geographically and in size of electorate significantly smaller than the Surrey Western constituency. The 1885 to 1918 constituency boundaries saw the area of west Surrey divided into two constituencies more equal in size of population and land area. The north part of west Surrey was given the constituency name Chertsey, the south part Guildford.
Constituency boundaries were redrawn in time for the 1868 election.
Prior to the 1868 general election, the constituency of Guildford was represented by two Members of Parliament. That was reduced to one from 1868 onwards.
The 1868 to 1885 constituency known as Guildford was geographically limited to an area around the current centre of Guildford town. This is in marked contrast to the various post-1885 versions of the constituency known as Guildford all of which have had a much greater geographical area. The 1868 constituency was, at its maximum, little over one mile east to west, and just over one mile north to south. (Most of the area which is in the modern constituency of Guildford would in 1868 have been part of the Surrey Western Constituency, rather than the Guildford Constituency.)
Party designations for many candidates during the 1830s, 1840s and 1850s can be problematic as party ties were not as strong as those that developed, in Britain, in the late 19th century. Therefore, for the 1830s to 1850s election results, listed below, the term Liberal includes Whigs and Radicals; and the term Conservative includes Tories and Peelites, unless otherwise specified.