Saturday morning’s Asahi front-paged its initial prediction for the Oct. 22 general election based on the results of a nationwide public opinion poll and field surveys, claiming that the ruling coalition of the LDP and the Komeito party is likely to capture almost 300 of the 465 seats up for grabs. Most ruling party candidates are apparently waging strong campaigns both in single-seat constituencies and proportional representation. The Party of Hope led by Tokyo Governor Koike and its partner the Japan Innovation Party are having a tough time even in their respective home territories of Tokyo and Osaka, with many of their candidates being outperformed by LDP rivals. On the other hand, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) is expected to win as many as 40 seats, up more than 25 from the current 15 who used to belong to the Democratic Party.
The daily attributed the LDP’s strong performance to the “balkanization” of opposition parties, explaining that while the public appears to be equally divided in their views on the Abe administration’s accomplishments over the past five years, voters who voiced disapproval of the premier were split into four groups when asked which party they will vote for in proportional representation. Almost 30% chose the CDPJ, followed by the Party of Hope (25%), the LDP (19%), and the Japanese Communist Party (14%). The paper also said that in 70% of the 162 single-seat districts where the LDP, the Party of Hope, and the CDPJ each fielded their own candidates, the LDP candidates are waging solid campaigns.
Today’s Mainichi also gave top play to its election projection, noting that while the ruling coalition is bound to win more than 300 seats, the Party of Hope appears to be losing ground. As the CDPJ’s campaign appears to be picking up additional momentum, the daily forecast that the liberal party may capture the largest number of seats in proportional representation within the opposition bloc. The Japanese Communist Party may lose several of its seats given that more voters critical of the Abe administration are apparently inclined to support the CDPJ. The daily added that according to its latest opinion poll, voters who want Prime Minister Abe to resign outnumbered those who want him to stay on, at 47% to 37%.
Meanwhile, according to the latest opinion poll taken by Jiji Press, some 31% of the Japanese public said they would vote for the LDP in proportional representation, followed by the Party of Hope with almost 12%. Support for the Abe cabinet stood at 37.1%, down 4.7 points from last month, whereas nonsupport was 41.8%, up 5.1 points.