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For local elections, 42 councillors are elected across 16 wards and elections take place every four years.
Poole is represented by three parliamentary constituencies in the House of Commons; Poole, Mid Dorset and North Poole, and Bournemouth West.
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.
Consequently, Poole gained a small measure of freedom from feudal rule and acquired the right to appoint a mayor and hold a court within town.
Consequently, a 6-hectare (15-acre) Conservation Area was created in the town centre in 1975 to preserve Poole's most notable buildings.
The settlement was used as a base for fishing and the harbour a place for ships to anchor on their way to the River Frome and the important Anglo-Saxon town of Wareham.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.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.