The first version of the Poole constituency existed from 1455 until 1885. During this period its exact status was a parliamentary borough, sending two burgesses to Westminster per year, except during its last 17 years when its representation was reduced to one member.
During its abeyance most of Poole was in the East Dorset seat and since its recreation in 1950 its area has been reduced as the harbour town's population has increased.
The borough is an economically very diverse borough. In the centre and north are a significant minority of Output Areas which in 2001 had high rankings in the Index of Multiple Deprivation, contributing in 2012 with the remainder to producing for Poole the highest unemployment of the constituencies in the county. However, Canford Cliffs is epitomised by one sub-neighbourhood, Sandbanks with its multimillion-pound properties, the coastline area has been dubbed as "Britain's Palm Beach" by the national media. Alongside oil extraction, insurance, care, retail and customer service industries choosing the town as their base tourism contributes to overall a higher income than the national average, however the divergence is not statistically significant and the size of homes varies extensively.
^Browne Willis and Cobbett both list Cooper as Poole's MP. Cooper was also elected for Wiltshire, and seems to have been regarded as its Member, but there appears no record of another Member having been elected for Poole in his place
^Cobbett again lists Cooper (elected for Wiltshire) as Poole's MP together with Bond, but Browne Willis gives Fitzjames as the second member