Harwich received its charter from King Edward II in 1319 and has played a naval part in virtually every Anglo-European war since. Sir Francis Drake landed here after routing the Spanish Armada. Thirty years later the Mayflower was built in its dockyards, and in 1918 the German submarine fleet surrendered here.
The new constituency is very mixed, with the town and international port of Harwich in the east, but the rest of the seat much more rural, with Brightlingsea, West Mersea and Wivenhoe the only small towns.
This contrast is reflected in the economic and social background. Employment in Harwich is dominated by port-related industries, with important international freight and ferry services. The parts of the seat from the old North Essex constituency are more white-collar areas, with many travelling to work in Colchester.
The University of Essex, located at Wivenhoe Park on the outskirts of Colchester, is contained in the constituency.
Conservative majority in 2010: 11,447
Harwich & North Essex is Labour target number 22 of a total of 66 seats in the Anglia region
Labour would need a swing of 14% to win in 2015 and the Lib Dems would need a 12% swing
Long-serving Conservative MP Bernard Jenkin is the current member for Harwich & North Essex have been first elected in 1992 for the now defunct Colchester North seat.
Mr Jenkin has been chair of Commons Public Administration Select Committee during this parliament.
Candidates in 2015
Ed Carlsson Browne - Labour
Christopher Flossman - Green
Dominic Graham - Liberal Democrat
Mark Hughes - UKIP
Bernard Jenkin - Conservative