Jiji – Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition is poised to win over 300 of the 465 seats in the House of Representatives in the Oct. 22 general election, Jiji Press forecasts showed.
Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito, may get as many as 310 Lower House seats altogether — two-thirds of the total — the level needed to propose constitutional amendments.
Abe has vowed to step down if the ruling coalition fails to secure a majority of at least 233 seats in the chamber.
The forecasts are based on Jiji Press reporters’ coverage of electoral districts across the country as well as opinion polls and past election results. A total of 1,180 candidates ran in the latest election.
The LDP alone is likely to win close to 280 seats, compared with the 290 seats the party held before the official campaign period for the election began Tuesday, meaning that the party will remain by far the largest force in the Lower House.
LDP candidates are leading in single-seat districts across the country, mainly in the Hokuriku, Chugoku and Kyushu regions. In proportional representation blocs, the LDP comes close to maintaining the 68 seats that the party won in the previous Lower House election in December 2014.
Komeito is projected to win at least six of the nine single-seat districts where it has fielded candidates. In proportional representation, the party may stop short of maintaining its 26 seats.
Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike’s newly formed Kibo no To (Party of Hope) is expected to end up only maintaining its 57 seats, contrary to initial expectations of a big win.
Kibo no To could see all 23 candidates it fielded in single-seat districts in Tokyo defeated. The party is projected to win about 35 proportional representation seats, only about half the expected level of the LDP.
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan may boost its number of seats from 15 to as much as about 40, including some 30 proportional representation seats. The party was recently formed by former Chief Cabinet Secretary Yukio Edano and other defectors from the Democratic Party, which was once the largest opposition force.
The Japanese Communist Party is expected to reduce its number of seats from 21. Nippon Ishin no Kai is likely to end up being nearly unchanged from the 14 seats it held before the start of the campaign period.
The Social Democratic Party is projected to maintain its two seats. The Party for Japanese Kokoro wo Taisetsu ni suru To is unlikely to win any seats.
The New Party Daichi, a regional political party focusing on Hokkaido, may win one proportional representation seat.