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Friday, 8 June, 2001, 15:51 GMT 16:51 UK
No change for the North
Tony Blair
Tony Blair is greeted by supporters in Sedgefield
BBC North's political reporter Damian O'Neil says the election has offered up more of the same for people in the North East and Cumbria.

The leaders of both the main parties have their homes in the North, and of course both men have been returned to their respective seats.

But while the victorious Tony Blair's majority in Sedgefield was well down on 1997, the people of Richmond rewarded William Hague with a substantially increased number of votes.

The irony cannot have been lost on him.

New faces

At first glance, you would be forgiven for thinking the North had somehow missed the whole thing.

William Hague
A disappointing night for Mr Hague
The electoral map looks just as it did on 6 June, and you have to scratch the surface to detect the changes which have taken place.

For Labour, there are four new faces on the scene, filling in behind MPs who have stood down.

Vera Baird has taken over from Mo Mowlam in Redcar; David Milliband from David Clark in South Shields; the former Euro-MP Tony Cunningham has replaced Dale Campbell-Savours in Workington, and Newcastle councillor Kevan Jones has taken the place of Giles Radice in Durham North.

Dented majorities

Elsewhere, Labour has hung onto all of its seats, although some of the big majorities have been dented somewhat.

Carlisle MP Eric Martlew may have felt the aftershock of foot and mouth disease - his healthy majority of 12,000 has been cut in half.

Peter Atkinson
Peter Atkinson: rural success
Foot and mouth may also have come into play in rural Hexham, which was Labour's number one target seat.

Tory Peter Atkinson was defending with just 222 votes; in the event, his majority went up tenfold.

But although there were few surprises for the North in this election, there were one or two interesting moments.

Anyone who saw Peter Mandelson's victory speech in Hartlepool, and who also believed his government career was over, might have some rethinking to do over the course of the next parliament.

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