Barry Porter (Con) won the seat the first time when it was fought and at the next two general elections. He had ousted the Labour party candidate from Bebington and Ellesmere Port in 1979 which he held until the election in 1983. Following the death of Porter in late 1996, a by-election was held in February 1997, the last by-election of that Parliament, held a matter of weeks before the general election was called. It was won by Ben Chapman (Lab), who held the seat until retiring following controversy over his expenses. Labour narrowly managed to hold on in the 2010 general election, electing Alison McGovern. Since then it has consistently shifted towards Labour, she increased her majority to 4,599 in the 2015 election. She was re-elected in 2017 with a majority of 8,323, an increase of 7% over 2015, the biggest majority Labour has ever held in the seat and the biggest majority for any party in Wirral South since 1987. In 2019 she won Re-Election by a slightly narrower 14% margin.
Workless claimants who were registered jobseekers, which is a proportion of total unemployed claimants, were in November 2012 much lower than the national average of 3.8%, at 2.3% of the population based on a statistical compilation by The Guardian. This was also lower than the regional average.
Since its creation in 1983, the constituency has consisted of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral wards of Bebington, Bromborough, Clatterbridge, Eastham, and Heswall. The constituency is one of four covering the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside.