History . . .
The P&B constituency has been a Conservative seat, and has only ever been represented by Conservative MPs. However, the Conservatives came close to losing the seat in a 1983 by-election when the former cabinet minister William Whitelaw became the leader of the House of Lords; the by-election took place a mere seven weeks after the 1983 general election.
The constituency was created in 1950 by merging part of Penrith and Cockermouth with North Cumberland. The constituency was enlarged in the 1980s by taking firstly most of the northern part of the former Westmorland constituency and later the Kirkby Stephen/Tebay area of the Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency.
In the 1990s a small part of Penrith and the Border was transferred to the Carlisle borough constituency.
Penrith and The Border is the largest constituency by area in England. Despite the name it only includes a small part of the English Border with Scotland. The name stems from the fact that when the constituency was first created it consisted of the Penrith Rural and Urban Districts, the Border Rural District and also the Alston with Garrigill Rural District.
Following their review of parliamentary representation in Cumbria, the Boundary Commission for England created a modified Penrith seat to reflect population changes. The electoral wards used in the creation of this seat, fought for the first time at the general election of 2010 are;
Boundary review :
The Boundary Commission planned to review Cumbria’s Parliamentary Constituencies again with the aim of reducing the six Cumbrian MPs down to five. The Boundary Commissions' initial proposal for the boundary change would have transformed the present Penrith & the Border Constituency beyond recognition.
The Conservative North West Division and the Cumbria Conservatives Area Committee offered a counter proposal which constituents were encourage to support. Unfortunately (depending on how you view it) the Liberal Democrats refused to support the bill so it did not proceed.