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LDP keeps momentum, Kibo loses steam, CDPJ gaining strength in LH election, Yomiuri poll

Yomiuri Shimbun conducted an opinion poll on Oct. 17-19 on the House of Representatives election taking place on Oct. 22 to gauge the situation in the final phase of the campaign.


According to the poll results, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is on track to considerably surpass a simple majority (233 seats), while the Kibo no To [Party of Hope] is fighting an uphill battle to even keep the 57 seats it held before the campaign began. The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ) has been expanding its support from the initial phase of the campaign and is likely to significantly top the 15 seats it held before the campaign.


This was the second poll on the Lower House election, following one that was conducted on Oct. 10-11 on the situation in all 289 single-seat constituencies. This poll focused only on 114 hotly contested districts and an analysis was made by combining poll findings with information gathered by Yomiuri local bureaus nationwide.


The LDP is doing well. It has been able to maintain its advantage in some 140 constituencies and is now ahead of rival candidates in 16 of the 114 closely contested districts surveyed. There were many cases in Gunma, Tokyo, and other prefectures where the LDP candidates have now moved ahead of their rivals.


Komeito has not been able to make further progress in the proportional representation segment. This party is likely to lose some of the the 34 seats it held before the election. However, the LDP and Komeito together may possibly capture more than 300 seats.


The Party of Hope fielded 75 candidates in the 114 districts polled and it is lagging behind in 31 of these constituencies. Even Masaru Wakasa (10th district of Tokyo), a close confidant of the party leader, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike, is losing to the LDP candidate. This party is doing poorly even in Tokyo, Koike’s home constituency.


The CDPJ is picking up momentum. Deputy party leader Akira Nagatsuma (seventh district of Tokyo) and two other candidates have been able to move ahead of their rivals in the final phase of the campaign, and a total of six CDPJ candidates now have a comfortable lead. This party is doing better than the Party of Hope in the proportional representation segment. The total number of seats it wins in the single-seat districts and on the proportional representation ticket may rival that of the Party of Hope.


The Japanese Communist Party (JCP) has not been able to remedy its dim prospects. Even its Diet Affairs Committee Chairman Keiji Kokuta is behind his LDP rival in the first district of Kyoto. It will be difficult for this party to win more seats than the 21 it held before the election.


As for Nippon Ishin [Japan Innovation Party], its Secretary General Nobuyuki Baba is fighting a tough battle in the 17th district of Osaka, even though Osaka is the party’s home turf. It is expected to win around 14 seats, similar to the number it held before the election.


The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is unlikely to win more seats that the two it held, while prospects do not look good for the Party for Japanese Kokoro.


However, around 20% of respondents in this poll did not say which candidates they will vote for, so the situation is still fluid. The poll was conducted by phone. Out of the 75,336 households with at least one eligible voter polled, responses were received from 45,282 persons for a response rate of 60%.

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