(Nikkei: February 29, 2016 – p. 2)
[In the Nikkei Inc./TV Tokyo public opinion poll] 25% of pollees said that they have “high expectations” for the new political party scheduled to be established this March by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Japan Innovation Party (JIP), while 64% said they “do not have high expectations.” When asked which political party they plan to vote for in the summer Upper House elections, only 13% said they intend to vote for the new DPJ-JIP merged party while 33% said they plan to vote for the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
The new political party to be formed by the DPJ and JIP is set to become the main opposition party with 150 lawmakers from the two chambers of the Diet. The party aims to be “the party for those who have doubts and concerns about the Abe administration” (DPJ President Katsuya Okada).
Among nonsupporters of the Abe cabinet, 38% said that they “have high expectations” for the new party while 50% said that they “do not.” Among those not supporting any particular political party, 25% said they “have high expectations” for the new party, while 61% said that they “do not.” At present, it cannot be said that the new party has gained sufficient confidence from those critical of the Abe administration.
The pollsters read a list of political parties to each respondent and asked them to name “the political party they wanted to vote for” or “the political party of the candidate they wanted to vote for” in the Upper House elections. A total of 13% said that they wanted to vote for “the new political party to be established by the DPJ and JIP.” While this figure is higher than the simple sum of the results for the DPJ (9%) and JIP (1%) in the January poll, the increase is minor.
Among nonsupporters of the Abe cabinet, about half were undecided about how they would vote in the summer Upper House elections and 26% selected the new DPJ-JIP party as the party they would vote for, making it the most popular among this segment. Among those not supporting any particular party, 70% said they were undecided. In deciding the name, platform, and policies of the new party, the focus will be on how many of these potential supporters the new party can attract.
Looking at the results by gender, 15% of men and 11% of women said that they would vote for the new party in the elections this summer. By age group, a comparatively high 19% of those in their 60s said they would pick the new party while only 9% of those in their 20s and 30s said they would.