Comprising the 56 parliamentary constituencies in the counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk, together with the unitary authorities of Luton, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock.
At the 1997 general election the Conservatives won 33 seats, Labour 22 and the Liberal Democrats one.
The Eastern region -a considerable expansion of the old standard region of East Anglia- was one of only three regions in England where the Conservatives polled a majority of votes in 1992, and one of only two in which the party enjoyed a plurality in 1997.
However, the swing from Conservative to Labour between 1992-97 was in excess of 12.5% and the Conservatives won more seats than their share of the vote 'entitled' them.
The Liberal Democrats' 1997 success was in Colchester where they emerged ahead of their opponents in a tight 3-way contest.