The Liberal Democratic Party and its junior ruling coalition partner Komeito looked set to win a crushing victory in Sunday’s House of Representatives election, together far surpassing a majority in the 465-seat lower house, according to joint exit polls by The Yomiuri Shimbun and Nippon TV network.
The LDP looked like it would exceed on its own the 233-seat majority level. Kibo no To (Party of Hope), led by Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike, appeared as if it would fail to secure as many seats as expected.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who is also president of the LDP, will soon launch his fourth Cabinet, apparently judging that the party has won the people’s confidence in the policies it touted during the campaign for the 48th lower house election, such as stepping up pressure on North Korea.
The LDP may also secure an absolute stable majority of 261 seats. An absolute majority allows the ruling party to chair all lower house standing committees and hold a majority in all committees.
Speaking on an NHK program, LDP Secretary General Toshihiro Nikai said regarding the projected victory of the party: “One factor in the election was how well [the Abe administration] lived up to the expectations of the public. Seeing the results, I believe Abe did very well in winning the confidence of the people.”
In Sunday’s lower house election, 465 seats — 289 seats for single-seat constituencies and 176 for proportional representation blocs — were contested.
This was down 10 seats from the previous race in 2014 and the lowest in the postwar period.