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Common opposition candidates could have resulted in ruling bloc losing 2/3 majority in Lower House in 2014

By political reporters Jun Kudo, Yosuke Ogawa

 

Yomiuri Shimbun conducted a simulation of what the results in all 295 single-seat districts in the 2014 House of Representatives election would have been like if the four opposition parties – the Democratic Party (DP; then called the Democratic Party of Japan [DPJ]), Japanese Communist Party (JCP), the Liberal Party (then the People’s Life Party [PLP]), and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) — had fielded common candidates. The simulation shows that the opposition could have defeated the ruling parties in nearly 60 constituencies.

 

It is estimated that the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Komeito could have lost their seats in 47 electoral districts. Adding to this the votes cast for incumbent DP Lower House members and candidates who ran in 2014 under the then Japan Innovation Party (JIP), there would have been 12 more, or a total of 59 constituencies where the election outcome would have been reversed.

 

The ruling parties won 326 seats in the 2014 Lower House election (232 in the single-seat districts and 94 on their proportional representation tickets, including winning candidates recognized by the two parties ex post facto). Based on Yomiuri’s simulation, they would have won only 267 seats, short of the two-thirds majority (317 seats) needed to submit motions to the Diet for constitutional revision.

 

On the other hand, the four opposition parties would have increased their seats significantly from 104 to 163.

 

Seats won in 2014 Lower House election

 

LDP, Komeito

 

DPJ, JCP, PLP, SDP

232

Single-seat districts

48

94

Proportional representation

56

326

Total

104

 

Simulation results

 

173

Single-seat districts

107

94

Proportional representation

56

267

Total

163

 

(Abridged)

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