|1885||Thomas Myles Sandys||Conservative|
|1911 by-election||Andrew Bonar Law||Conservative|
|1918||Thomas Royden||Coalition Conservative|
|1924||Vivian Leonard Henderson||Conservative|
|1931||Chichester de Windt Crookshank||Conservative|
|1990 by-election||Michael Carr||Labour|
|1990 by-election||Joe Benton||Labour|
The constituency was originally a safe Conservative seat, being represented by Conservative Party Leader Andrew Bonar Law from 1911 until 1918. A Liberal seat in the 1920s, it then became a Conservative - Labour marginal in the 1930s. It is now a safe seat for the Labour Party, who have held it continually since the 1945 general election. In each general election since 1997, it has been the safest seat for any party in the UK.
In 1990, there were two by-elections in Bootle. The first followed the death of Allan Roberts on 21 February, and was held on 24 May. That by-election was notable for the Social Democrat candidate, Jack Holmes (representing the part of the SDP opposed to the 1988 merger with the Liberals and formation of the Liberal Democrats), being beaten by Screaming Lord Sutch of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. The victorious Labour candidate, Michael Carr, died after just 57 days in office on July 20 1990.