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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.
Poole experienced two large-scale Viking invasions during this era: in 876, Guthrum sailed his fleet through the harbour to attack Wareham, and in 1015, Canute began his conquest of England in Poole Harbour, using it as a base to raid and pillage Wessex.
Although Poole did not become a resort like many of its neighbours, it continued to prosper as the rapid expansion of Bournemouth created a large demand for goods manufactured in Poole.
Much of the town suffered from German bombing during the war and years of neglect in the post-war economic decline.
The earliest recorded use of the town's name was in the 12th century when the town began to emerge as an important port, prospering with the introduction of the wool trade.
Later, the town had important trade links with North America and, at its peak during the 18th century, it was one of the busiest ports in Britain.
In the Second World War, Poole was one of the main departing points for the Normandy landings.
Poole is a tourist resort, attracting visitors with its large natural harbour, history, the Lighthouse arts centre and Blue Flag beaches.
is a large coastal town and seaport in the county of Dorset, on the south coast of England.
The town is 33 kilometres (21 mi) east of Dorchester, and adjoins Bournemouth to the east.
The town has a commercial port with cross-Channel freight and passenger ferry services.
The headquarters of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) are in Poole, and the Royal Marines have a base in the town's harbour.
At the turn of the 19th century, nine out of ten workers were engaged in harbour activities, but as the century progressed ships became too large for the shallow harbour and the port lost business to the deep water ports at Liverpool, Southampton and Plymouth.