1918-1950: The Municipal Borough of Winchester, the Urban District of Eastleigh and Bishopstoke, the Rural Districts of Hursley and Winchester, and the Rural District of South Stoneham except the civil parish of Bittern.
1950-1955: The Municipal Boroughs of Eastleigh, Romsey, and Winchester, in the Rural District of Romsey and Stockbridge the civil parishes of Ampfield, Chilworth, East Dean, Lockerley, Melchet Park and Plaitford, Michelmersh, Mottisfont, North Baddesley, Nursling and Rownhams, Romsey Extra, Sherfield English, and Wellow, and part of the Rural District of Winchester.
1955-1974: The Municipal Boroughs of Romsey and Winchester, and parts of the Rural Districts of Romsey and Stockbridge, and Winchester.
1974-1983: The Municipal Boroughs of Andover and Winchester, the Rural District of Andover, and parts of the Rural Districts of Romsey and Stockbridge, and Winchester.
1983-1997: The City of Winchester wards of Bishop's Sutton, Bishop's Waltham, Cheriton, Compton, Durley and Upham, Itchen Valley, Littleton, Micheldever, New Alresford, Olivers Battery, Otterbourne and Hursley, Owlesbury and Colden Common, St Barnabas, St Bartholomew, St John and All Saints, St Luke, St Michael, St Paul, Sparsholt, The Worthys, Twyford, Upper Meon Valley, and Wonston, and the District of East Hampshire wards of Alton Holybourne, Alton North East, Alton North West, Alton South East, Alton South West and Beech, Farringdon, Four Marks, Medstead, North Downland and Ropley, and West Tisted.
1997-2010: The City of Winchester.
2010–present: The City of Winchester wards of Colden Common and Twyford, Compton and Otterbourne, Itchen Valley, Kings Worthy, Littleton and Harestock, Olivers Battery and Badger Farm, St Barnabas, St Bartholomew, St John and All Saints, St Luke, St Michael, St Paul, Sparsholt, The Alresfords, and Wonston and Micheldever, and the Borough of Eastleigh wards of Chandler's Ford East, Chandler's Ford West, Hiltingbury East, and Hiltingbury West.
The chartered city sent burgesses (equivalent to advisory MPs) to the Model Parliament of 1295 and then to most Parliaments convened by the monarch in the medieval period and thereafter; its representation being fixed at two in number during this long period of English history. As is common, major disruption in representation caused by both infrequency of Parliaments convened and allegiance of the incumbents (whether a Royalist or a Parliamentarian) led to sporadic representation during the Protectorate of England and its Commonwealth which followed the end of most fighting during the English Civil War, in this case the stripping of wealth and status from Sir William Ogle followed his being supportive of the wrong faction at the wrong time.
Redistribution of Seats Act 1885 reduced the narrow borough constituency that elected two MPs to only one, permitting the creation of new broader replacement seats in surrounding Hampshire countryside for two abolished boroughs: Andover and Fareham (also known as West and South Hampshire respectively).
At the 1997 general election the incumbent MP Gerry Malone of the Conservative Party was defeated by Mark Oaten of the Liberal Democrats by just two votes. Malone petitioned the result and it was declared void by the High Court on the grounds of mis-stamped ballots having altered the outcome, necessitating a by-election. This was won definitively by Oaten with a very large majority of 21,556, in an election that saw the Labour vote collapse to 1.7% hence the candidate, Patrick Davies, losing his deposit.
The events of 1997 swung the constituency strongly away from its usual status as a fairly safe Conservative seat.
Oaten stood down at the 2010 general election and was replaced as Liberal Democrat candidate by Martin Tod. Following significant boundary changes, Tod was defeated by Conservative candidate Steve Brine, who took the seat with a majority of 3,048 votes, a modest majority which cannot be described as either marginal or safe.
The ancient capital of Wessex, Winchester is a cathedral city with the arts and humanities-oriented University and an affluent population. Deprivation levels are very low, and the population is a mix of students, academics, London and Southampton commuters, and those employed locally in high-tech and creative industries.
The only other large settlement in the constituency is Chandler's Ford which has over 21,000 residents and is largely a dormitory town. The constituency also includes several villages, mostly to the north and east of Winchester, including Micheldever, New Alresford and Kings Worthy. Much of the rural territory previously in the constituency was moved to Meon Valley from the 2010 election.
Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers were in November 2012 significantly lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 1.4% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian.
Note: The result reflects the official return made at the time. It was subsequently declared void upon petition. Because of the presence on the ballot paper of Richard Huggett as "Liberal Democrat Top Choice for Parliament", Oaten used the description "Liberal Democrat: Leader: Paddy Ashdown" to identify himself as the official Liberal Democrat candidate.
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;