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Results & Constituencies
 
 Houghton & Washington East
Other Labour hold
Name Party Votes % +/- %
Fraser Kemp Labour 24,628 73.2 -3.2
Tony Devenish Conservative 4,810 14.3 +1.4
Richard Ormerod Liberal Democrat 4,203 12.5 +4.8
Majority 19,818 58.9
Turnout 33,641 49.5 -12.6
Swing
Against 1997 General Election 2.3% from Labour to Conservative

Description
This seat contains half of the New Town of Washington along with the older communities of Houghton-Le-Sprin, Hetton-le-Hole, Eppleton, Shiney Row and Herrington.

Washington is a former mining village, as are all the other villages in this seat - which all lie within the Durham coalfield. One of Washington’s greatest claims to fame is that it is the "ancestral birthplace" of the first American President, George Washington, whose family name originated in the 12th century.

Another of the seat’s claims to fame is that Big Ben’s tongue - the piece of metal that swings inside the bell - was cast in Houghton-le-Spring.

The Nissan car factory confirmed in January 2001 that it intended to manufacture the new Micra at its Sunderland plant - which means an extra 500 extra jobs for the area. Other companies which have set up in the area since the decline of coal include Philips, Nike and Dewhurst. Light and service industries also form the economic base of the seat now, but unemployment is still fairly high.

This seat has always tended to support Labour; Fraser Kemp held it with a resounding 76.4% of all the votes cast in 1997.

Past Results

1997 General Election
 Houghton & Washington East
Labour hold
Name Party Votes %
Fraser Kemp Labour 31,946 76.4
Philip Booth Conservative 5,391 12.9
Keith Miller Liberal Democrat 3,209 7.7
Jim Joseph Referendum 1,277 3.1
Majority 26,555 63.5
Turnout 41,823 62.1
 
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