The constituency of Southend West is made up of nine wards of the western part of Southend on Sea Borough Council – Belfairs, Blenheim Park, Chalkwell, Eastwood Park, Leigh, Prittlewell, St Laurence, West Leigh and Westborough wards. It has been represented by Conservative MPs since its creation in 1950, and David has been Member of Parliament for the area since 1997.

The borough of Southend on Sea is situated on the north side of the Thames estuary 40 miles east of central London in Essex. Originally the ‘south end’ of the village of Prittlewell, Southend became a seaside resort during the Georgian era, attracting many tourists in the summer months to its seven milesof beaches. Good rail connections and proximity to London mean that much of the economy has been based on tourism, and that Southend has been a dormitory town for city workers ever since.

Southend Pier is the world's longest pleasure pier at 1.34 miles, built in 1830. Since 1986, a diesel-hydraulic railway has run the length of the pier, replacing the electric service which opened in 1890.