1918-1950: During the 1885-1918 distribution of parliamentary seats, the area had been part of the Wandsworth constituency. In 1918 the Metropolitan Borough (a larger area than the Wandsworth constituency had been) was split into five divisions. In addition to Central these divisions were Balham and Tooting, Clapham, Putney and Streatham.
The Central constituency comprised the Fairfield and Springfield wards of the Metropolitan Borough, as they existed in 1918.
The constituency was surrounded by the River Thames to the north, Battersea South to the east, Balham and Tooting to the south-east and south, Wimbledon to the south-west and Putney to the west.
1950-1974: In the redistribution, which took effect with the United Kingdom general election, 1950, the Metropolitan Borough was re-arranged into four divisions. The Balham and Tooting constituency was the one which disappeared.
Tooting ward and part of Balham ward were included in the redrawn Central seat. Springfield ward remained from the old Central division. Fairfield ward was transferred to the Putney constituency. The rest of Balham ward remained in the Clapham constituency.
The effect of these changes was to combine the southern part of the old Central, with the former Balham and Tooting. This moved the boundaries of this constituency south and east from those in the previous distribution.
The constituency was surrounded by Battersea South to the north, Clapham to the north-east, Streatham to the east, Mitcham in the south, Wimbledon to the south-west and Putney to the north-west.
In the 1974 re-distribution, which was the first after the local government boundary changes in 1965, the London Borough (with significantly different boundaries from the old Metropolitan Borough) was divided into four seats. Those were Battersea North, Battersea South, Putney and Tooting. The Springfield and Tooting wards were included in the Tooting constituency, with the Balham ward being included in Battersea South.
Swing is only calculated when the same two parties, as in the previous election, share first and second place. Votes for other candidates are ignored in the calculation of Butler swing. A positive swing is from Labour towards the Conservative candidate and a negative swing is from Conservative towards a Labour candidate.
Note (1940): Bevin was the Minister of Labour and National Service at the time of his election. Under an agreement between the three parties comprising the wartime coalition, the parties which had not represented a seat when it became vacant would not contest the by-election.
^This is result as declared and as it appears in standard works of reference. However an error was made during the tallying of Norton-Griffiths' votes when a batch of 1,000 was incorrectly counted as 100. Therefore Norton-Griffiths' total should really be 9,674. See TNALCO 2/2584.