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The borough constituency of Poole has existed since 1950.
Previously the town had been a parliamentary borough, electing two members of parliament from 1455 until 1865 when representation was reduced to one member.
The trade followed a three-cornered route; ships sailed to Newfoundland with salt and provisions, then carried dried and salted fish to Europe before returning to Poole with wine, olive oil, and salt.
The end of the Napoleonic Wars and the conclusion of the War of 1812 ended Britain's monopoly over the Newfoundland fisheries and other nations took over services provided by Poole's merchants at a lower cost.
Major redevelopment projects began in the 1950s and 1960s and large areas of slum properties were demolished and replaced with modern public housing and facilities.
The headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are in Poole, and the Royal Marines have a base in the town's harbour.
Poole's growing importance was recognised in 1433 when it was awarded staple port status by King Henry VI, enabling the port to begin exporting wool and in turn granting a licence for the construction of a town wall.
Poole escaped any large-scale attack and with the Royalists on the brink of defeat in 1646, the Parliamentary garrison from Poole laid siege to and captured the nearby Royalist stronghold at Corfe Castle.
The area around modern Poole has been inhabited for the past 2,500 years.
During the 3rd century BC, Celts known as the Durotriges moved from hilltop settlements at Maiden Castle and Badbury Rings to heathland around the River Frome and Poole Harbour.
For local elections, 42 councillors are elected across 16 wards and elections take place every four years.