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Two-thirds majority may be within reach of pro-amendment parties, Sankei-FNN poll

  • July 5, 2016
  • , Sankei , Lead story
  • Translation

On July 4, the Sankei Shimbun considered the election outlook in the final stage of campaigning for the July 10 House of Councillors election, based on its joint public opinion survey conducted with Fuji News Network (FNN) on July 1-3 and factoring in findings from its local coverage. It looks likely that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Komeito, and other pro-revisionist parties will be able to secure the two-thirds needed to initiate constitutional revision at the Diet (total of 162 seats, including uncontested seats). The situation is still uncertain, however, as the results of the 32 Upper House single-seat electoral districts will have a major impact.

 

For the ruling parties of the LDP and Komeito alone to secure two-thirds of the Upper House seats they must win 86 of the 121 seats up for election. If the seats held by pro-revisionist Initiatives from Osaka and Party for Japanese Kokoro are taken into account, however, the ruling parties only have to win 78 seats. Fierce battles are raging in eight of the single-seat districts up for election, including Aomori, Fukushima, and Mie, where the opposition parties are joining hands to field one candidate to oppose the LDP and keep it from gaining a two-thirds majority.

 

The LDP has its sights set on a stand-alone majority (122 seats, including uncontested seats), which it has not enjoyed for 27 years. The LDP needs to win 57 seats to gain a stand-alone majority, and it looks like they may win 40 seats in the single-seat constituencies and 19 in the proportional representation segment. The Komeito is expected to add to the nine seats up for re-election and looks set to take around 12 seats. Initiatives from Osaka seem likely to take at most three single-seat constituency seats and around five seats in the proportional representation segment. Party for Japanese Kokoro aims to take one seat.

 

The Democratic Party is highly likely to fall below the 43 seats up for re-election and may not even take 30. The Japanese Communist Party looks like it will further raise the number of seats it holds, having taken eight in the 2013 Upper House elections. The Social Democratic Party and the People’s Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends may be able to take one seat each. There is a chance that minority parties will take one seat in the proportional representation segment.

 

The situation remains fluid, however, because in some electoral districts more than 30% of voters are still undecided.

 

Seats projected for political parties

Up for reelection

Uncontested

Liberal Democratic Party

53-59-63

50

65

Democratic Party

20-28-32

43

17

Komeito

10-12-14

9

11

Japanese Communist Party

7-10-13

3

8

Initiatives from Osaka

6-7-9

2

5

Social Democratic Party

0-1

2

1

People’s Life Party & Taro Yamamoto and Friends

0-1

2

1

Party for Japanese Kokoro

0-1

0

3

New Renaissance Party

0

1

0

Happiness Realization Party

0

0

0

Minorities

0-1

1

3

Independent unified candidates

3-4-5

0

0

Independents

0-1

7

7

Total

121

120

121

Seats up for reelection include 1 vacancy.

 

Polling methodology: The sample size was 16,121. Based on the voting register as of the end of March 2015, the sample pool was taken from among voters aged 18 or over by electoral district, adjusted to the gender and age composition of each survey area. The survey was conducted until the calculated number of responses was obtained by placing telephone calls on a random digit dialing (RDD) basis.

 

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