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Pro-constitutional amendment camp likely to win two-thirds majority in Upper House race

  • July 6, 2016
  • , Mainichi , Lead story
  • Translation

Ahead of the upcoming 24th election for the House of Councillors, Kyodo News conducted a nationwide telephone public opinion survey on July 3–5 and probed the situation in the last stage of campaigning, factoring in findings from its coverage of the nation’s electorate at large. It looks very likely that lawmakers from the LDP, Komeito, Initiatives from Osaka, and other parties amenable to constitutional reform under PM Abe will secure the two-thirds majority (162 seats; including both contested and uncontested seats) in the Upper House required to initiate amendments to the Constitution. The Liberal Democratic Party could win around 60 seats, which would give it a single-party majority in the Upper House for the first time in 27 years. Four opposition parties, including the Democratic Party and the Japanese Communist Party, are joining hands to field joint candidates in the 32 single-seat electoral districts, but the candidates are struggling overall.

 

It seems virtually certain that the ruling parties will surpass Abe’s stated target of 61 seats, which is a majority of the contested seats. The Democratic Party will likely have a hard fight to win between 25 and 30 seats. Komeito and the Japanese Communist Party are likely to gain ground by securing 14 seats and 9 seats, respectively. The election outcome is far from certain as more than 40% of respondents said they are undecided on either their constituency or proportional representation votes. (Abridged)

 

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