According to the Yomiuri Shimbun’s nationwide public opinion poll conducted on April 20–22, nonsupport exceeded support even among men, a group which has backed Prime Minister Abe to date.
Since the launch of the second Abe cabinet, only twice has cabinet nonsupport exceeded support among men: in the September 2015 poll taken after the passage of the security legislation (support, 46%; nonsupport, 49%) and the July 2017 poll conducted after the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) suffered a crushing defeat in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election (support, 45%; nonsupport, 46%).
Generally, over half of male respondents have backed the cabinet since August last year, but in the recent poll, support among men dipped to 44%, dropping 7 percentage points from the previous poll taken on March 31–April 1. Moreover, nonsupport among men was its highest ever in the history of the second Abe cabinet at 50% (previous poll: 44%). With this, more men did not back Abe than did. Of the now three cases where nonsupport among men exceeded support, this time the difference between the two rates reached a new high of 6 points.
Support among women stood at 34%, virtually unchanged from the 33% found in the previous poll.
To date, cabinet support has been low among the older age groups, which have been critical of Abe, and high among the younger age groups. In the previous survey, nonsupport exceeded support among those in the 40s and 50s. This time, though, nonsupport (slightly over 50%) exceeded support also among those in their 30s (slightly over 40%). Meanwhile, slightly fewer than 70% of 18- to 29-year-olds supported the Prime Minister.
Backing for the LDP remained steady from last month at 37% (previous poll: 36%), but the cabinet support rate among LDP supporters dropped 8 points from the previous poll to 76%. This represents a drop of 14 points from the 90% found in the February 2018 poll before the Moritomo Gakuen scandal heated up again.
Since the October 2017 Lower House election, the cabinet support rate has tended to be 10 points or more above the LDP support rate, but this time the gap narrowed to 2 points as the cabinet support rate was 39% and the LDP support rate was 37%.
[Polling methodology: The nationwide survey was conducted on April 20–22 on a computer-aided random digit dialing (RDD) basis and targeted voters aged 18 or over with calls placed to landline and mobile phone numbers. Valid responses were received from a total of 1,066 persons, including 540 persons (out of the 873 households with one or more eligible voters) for landline numbers and 526 persons (out of the 1,112 persons who answered) for mobile numbers. The valid response rates were 62% for landline numbers and 47% for mobile numbers.]