Dorset Council is a unitary authority which was formed in 2019 and incorporates the previous county council and 5 of the 6 previous districts - West Dorset, North Dorset, East Dorset, Weymouth & Portland and Purbeck.

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council is also a unitary authority formed in 2019 from the previous two unitary city authorities of Poole and Bournemouth, and Christchurch District Council.

There are seven parliamentary constituencies: Bournemouth East, Bournemouth West and Poole which do not exactly match the city boundaries, and West Dorset, South Dorset, Mid Dorset & North Poole, North Dorset, and Christchurch.

The area is covered by three local green parties