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Opposition united front could have defeated ruling parties in 47 districts in 2014

In light of plans by the four opposition parties – the Democratic Party (DP), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), the Liberal Party (LP), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) – to form a united front in the next House of Representatives election, Sankei Shimbun conducted a simulation on Nov. 6 of what the election results would have been like if the four opposition parties had formed a united front in 295 single-seat districts in the previous Lower House election of December 2014. The results show that Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito candidates could have been defeated by the opposition’s common candidates in a total of 47 single-seat districts. The opposition united front was also effective in the House of Councillors election last July, so the LDP and Komeito will need to review their strategies for the next Lower House election.

 

In the previous Lower House election, where 475 seats were being contested, the ruling parties won a landslide victory with 232 single-seat district seats and 94 proportional representation seats, or a total of 326 seats – which exceeded two-thirds of the Lower House seats (317). If the opposition had formed a united front and won in 47 single-seat districts, the ruling parties would have won only 279 seats, falling way short of the two-thirds majority.

 

This simulation was carried out by adding the votes won by the official candidates of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ, now the DP), the JCP, the People’s Life Party (PLP, now the LP), and the SDP in each district, regarding these as votes won by the opposition’s common candidates.

 

The Japan Innovation Party (JIP, now called Nippon Ishin [Japan Innovation Party]) and the Party for Future Generations (PFG; now the Party for Japanese Kokoro), which have not joined the opposition united front so far, were classified as a separate “third force” in the simulation. If these two parties had also joined the united front, there would have been a reversal of results for the ruling and opposition camps in 85 electoral districts. In this case, the ruling parties would have won only 243 seats, which would just be a few seats above the majority line (238 seats), resulting in serious instability in the management of the administration.

 

Seats actually won by political parties in the 2014 Lower House election

 

 

LDP

Komeito

DPJ

JCP

PLP

SDP

Ishin

PFG

Independent

Single-seat districts

223

9

38

1

2

1

11

2

8

232

42

13

Proportional representation

68

26

35

20

0

1

30

0

N/A

94

56

30

Total

291

35

73

21

2

2

41

2

8

326

98

43

 

If the opposition parties had formed a united front

 

 

LDP/Komeito

 

Four opposition parties

Ishin et al.

 

Independents

Single-seat districts

185

90

12

8

Proportional representation

94

56

30

N/A

Total

279

146

42

8

*Simulation based on 2014 Lower House election results; figures for the proportional representation segment also based on 2014 election; LDP figures include independent elected in the first district of Fukuoka who was recognized by the LDP as its official candidate ex post facto.

 

(Abridged)

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