Tynemouth is a predominantly coastal constituency which is positioned in the south eastern corner of the old Northumberland county, in confluence of the River Tyne and the North Sea. The seatís economy has been moulded in part by shipyards and docks.
The accompanying council estates in Chirton, Collingwood and North Shields reflect the strong Labour tradition in the seat. By contrast it also contains seaside resorts and middle-class housing: Tynemouth, Cullercoats, Whitley Bay and Seaton Sluice. It could be said this seat has a North-South divide of its own.
The constituency has suffered greatly from the decline of the shipbuilding industry, as well the closure of the Siemens and Fujitsu factories in the last few years. Call centres are one expanding source of employment in the area: companies located in North Shields include MB&G Insurance Services.
Formerly the only Conservative seat in Tyne and Wear, Labourís Alan Campbell won Tynemouth in the 1997 landslide, with a commanding majority of 11,000 votes. It had previously only been won by Labour in 1945.