Davey attended the independent Nottingham High School, the same school as fellow MPs Ken Clarke, Geoff Hoon and Ed Balls – he was a year above Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and was the school Head Boy.
He later studied at Jesus College, Oxford, where he was awarded a first class BA degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics.
As a teenager he worked at Pork Farms pork pie factory and at Boots. In 1989, he became an economics researcher for the Liberal Democrats, where he worked for Alan Beith – the party’s then Treasury spokesman.
After studying for a master’s degree in Economics, he took up the position of management consultant with Omega Partners in 1993, where his speciality was the postal services sector.
Davey became Lib Dem MP for Kingston and Surbiton in 1997 and was appointed the party’s economics affairs spokesman in 1997. After the 2001 election he joined the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, the first of a number of shadow roles, including shadowing the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister with responsibility for local government and the regions (2002-2005), Shadow Education and Skills Secretary (2005-2006) and Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary (2006).
Davey, whose hobbies include walking and supporting Notts County FC, is married with a son and lives in his constituency.
His wife Emily stood for Parliament for the Lib Dems in the 2010 election but came second in the Dorset North seat.
Davey won a police commendation and a bravery award from the Royal Humane Society in 1994 after he rescued a woman who had fallen on to a railway line in the face of an oncoming train.