ALMOST 300 candidates will be contesting the 82 seats in the first Dorset Council election on May 2.

In most of the 52 wards there are at least three contestants with the larger areas having ten or more candidates for two or three seat wards.

The largest number of candidates are being fielded is in Gillingham (13), Bridport (11) , Rodwell and Wyke Regis (10) and Portland (10) which all have three councillor wards.

The biggest field in two seat wards is Shaftesbury with 11 candidates and Swanage with 8.

The main political parties are represented in most of the wards with the UKIP standing for 29 seats and the Green Party for 23. There are 22 candidates listed as independent and three who have left the column for affiliation blank.

The list of nominations for the election for 163 town and parish councils has yet to be validated and published.

The full list of candidates, together with details about wards can be found at –