The constituency cuts across North Hertfordshire and East Hertfordshire District Councils. It contains Letchworth, the first Garden City and, less famously, Baldock, Royston, Buntingford and Puckeridge, as well as numerous villages of varying sizes.
The constituency has a mixture of small- to medium-sized research-based technology companies, light engineering and agriculture.
Agriculture is primarily arable, although there are sheep breeders to the south of the constituency, as well as some dairy and pig farming.
There is also a sizeable contingent of commuters to London each day, as evidenced by the above average percentage of the population employed in the managerial sector and the skilled non-manual sector.
Conservative majority in 2010: 15,194
Labour would need a swing of 19% to win in 2015 and the Lib Dems would need a 15% swing
The seat has been held by the Conservatives since its creation in 1974. The current incumbent, Sir Oliver Heald, has been the local MP since 1992.
Candidates in 2015
William Compton - UKIP
Sir Oliver Heald - Conservative
Joe Jordan - Liberal Democrat
Mario May - Green
Chris York - Labour
Electorate in 2013
Population in 2011
Population density (people per hectare)