This seat is composed of former mining villages, new private housing complexes and large, sprawling council estates - the most famous of the latter is Killingsworth Township.
Swan Hunter Shipyards used to be the major employer in the area, but the decline in ship building has crippled the yard in recent years. The last warship built on the Tyne was HMS Richmond, which was launched from the Swan Hunter yard in 1994. However, things are looking up, and the yard won a £150m MoD order for two Royal Navy Ships in December 2000, securing 2,000 jobs.
The seatís Long Benton area is home to the Viasystems electronics factory. The controversial US-owned printed circuit board company closed its Scottish Borders factories in 1999, with nearly 1,000 job losses. It has been subjected to bitter allegations ever since that Scottish work was being transferred to its new Tyneside plant - which provides 1,000 jobs.
The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Stephen Byers, has held this seat since 1992.