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Voting stations are open across the area today as local voters take part in the European Elections – the elections that few people thought would take place.

Gillingham and Shaftesbury are in the South West region for the Euro elections and voters will be asked to put their cross next to one party.

In this election, on top of the traditional parties and some independent candidates, two new parties have appeared.

The polling station at the Dolphin in Peacemarsh is open for business.

One is the Brexit Party, whose lead South West candidate is former Conservative minister Ann Widdecombe.

The other is known as Change UK – The Independent Group, and their lead candidate here is TV personality Rachel Johnson.

Though polling ends at 10pm the votes will not be counted until Sunday when most other EU members states stage their elections.

For a full list of the parties standing visit the Dorset Council website.

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