With the UK heading back to the polls on December 12, we have taken a look at what has happened in recent votes in South Dorset.

What's happened before?

The current MP for this constituency is Richard Drax, a Conservative and landowner who used to be a soldier and a television news journalist.

During the most recent general election in 2017, Mr Drax took the largest share of the vote – 55.8 per cent in total, ahead of Labour with 25.4 per cent and the Lib Dems with 15.3 per cent.

However the seat was held by a Labour MP before that and prior to this, by a Conservative.

The 2017 general election figures contrasted with the picture in the European Parliament elections this May, the most recent occasion on which the country went to the polls. In this poll the Brexit Party took 34.3 per cent of the vote, the largest share, in West Dorset’s local authority area, which encompasses the constituency.

The Lib Dems finished second, with 30.2 per cent, and the Greens third with 15.1 per cent.

The South West – the EU constituency in which West Dorset lies – returned three Brexit Party MEPs, two Liberal Democrat and one Green to Brussels in May.

Are people going out to vote?

Turnout was much lower in those elections – while 72.2 per cent of the electorate came out to vote across the two constituencies in 2017, just 41.1 per cent did in the local authority for the European Parliament elections this year. Both those turnouts, however, were beaten by that for the referendum on the topic which is predicted to dominate December’s general election: Brexit.

What about Brexit?

The Brexit referendum in 2016 brought more voters to the polls across the UK than any referendum or general election in 24 years. In West Dorset, 79.5 per cent of the electorate voted, with a small majority in favour of leaving the EU, with 51 per cent of the vote.

The EU Referendum result in West Dorset in June 2016

Remain: 31,924 (49.0%)

Leave: 33,267 (51.0%)

The vote share for the top three parties in each constituency in June 2017

Conservative: 29,135 votes (56.1%)

Labour: 17,440 (33.6%)

Liberal Democrats: 3,053 (5.9%)

Top three parties in West Dorset for the European Parliament in May

The Brexit Party: 34.3%

The Lib Dems: 30.2%

The Greens: 15.1%