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OPINION POLLS

58% say that Abenomics “needs to be revised,” Kyodo News poll

Ahead of the Upper House elections to be held next month, Kyodo News conducted a telephone-based public opinion survey (1st trend survey) across the nation on June 1–2 to probe the level of popular interest in the election and trends in public support for political parties. When asked how they will vote in the proportional representation portion of the Upper House election, 28.9% said the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), followed by 10.9% who backed the Democratic Party (DP). Some 58.0% were pessimistic about Abenomics, the Abe administration’s economic policy package, saying either “it should be revised” or “a complete change in direction should be made.” Only 34.6% said that Abenomics should be expanded or maintained as is. Over half (53.6%) of respondents were opposed to constitutional amendment under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe while 30.9% were in favor.

 

The cabinet support rate was 49.4% while the nonsupport rate was 41.3%.

 

There is a chance, however, that voting in the proportional representation segment will shift. Although the LDP was the party most frequently selected by respondents, 37.3% of pollees said that they were “still undecided.” The DP was the second most frequently selected party [at 10.9%], followed by the Komeito at 6.3%, the Japanese Communist Party at 5.3%, Initiatives from Osaka at 2.4%, the Social Democratic Party (SDP) at 1.6%, the People’s Life Party (PLP) at 0.7%, and the Party for Japanese Kokoro at 0.1%. No respondents selected the New Renaissance Party.

 

When asked about how they would vote in the single-seat constituency segment of the Upper House elections, 32.1% of pollees indicated they would vote for “opposition party candidates” while 19.4% said “ruling party candidates.”

 

Respondents were queried as to which policy they would place the highest priority on in deciding how to vote. The most frequently selected response was economic policies, including jobs (33.9%), followed by initiatives related to the pension, healthcare, and nursing care insurance systems (30.5%).

 

Pollees were negative about Abenomics, with 46.5% of pollees saying “it should be revised” and 11.5% indicating “a complete change in direction should be made.”

 

Respondents were split over the prime minister’s announcement that the consumption tax hike scheduled for April 2017 would be postponed. Some 47.5% of respondents said that they “do not think that the administration’s economic policies are a failure” while 43.1% indicated that they “think the policies are a failure.”

 

When asked if they have a political party that they support, 38.2% of pollees said “yes.” The breakdown was as follows: the party with the highest support rate was the LDP at 58.9%, followed by the DP at 15.2%, Komeito at 10.8%, the JCP at 7.3%, Initiatives from Osaka at 3.1%, the SDP at 3.0%, and the PLP at 0.6%. No respondents selected the Party for Japanese Kokoro or the New Renaissance Party. A full 59.0% of respondents said they do not have a political party they support. When this group was asked which political party they would support if they had to select one, 30.5% said the LDP.

 

A full 69.1% of pollees said that they are interested in the Upper House elections while 30.8% indicated they have no interest.

 

In light of the fact that the voting age is to be lowered to 18 starting from the Upper House election, people aged 18 and 19 were included in the sample.

 

Key findings of the Kyodo News 1st trend survey

How will you vote in the proportional representation segment of the Upper House elections?

LDP

28.9%

DP

10.9%

What do you think should be done with Abenomics going forward?

Should be expanded

16.3%

Should be maintained as is

18.3%

Should be revised

46.5%

Complete change in direction should be made

11.5%

How do you view the recently announced postponement of the consumption tax hike?

The administration’s economic policies are a failure

43.1%

Economic policies are not a failure

47.5%

Do you support the cabinet?

Yes

49.4%

No

41.3%

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