The constituency was created in 1997 from parts of the former seats of Chingford and Wanstead & Woodford. Both seats previously had well-known MPs, namely Norman Tebbit and Winston Churchill respectively. Sir Iain Duncan Smith had been MP for Chingford since 1992 and continued as MP for this constituency. Churchill had served from 1945 to 1964 as MP for the Woodford part of the new constituency. Before 1945, both Woodford and Chingford were in the Epping county constituency, for which Churchill was also MP.
Sir Iain has been the Member of Parliament for Chingford since 1992 and Woodford Green since 1997.