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Suga won big in prefectural primaries, gaining 64% of local federations’ votes

By Keishi Nishimura and Naoki Matsuyama, staff writers

 

Yoshihide Suga emerged victorious in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) presidential election on Sept. 14, and he also won big in the local federation vote. In this LDP presidential election, three votes were allocated to each LDP prefectural federation (total: 141). Suga received 89 of those votes (63%); Fumio Kishida, 10 (7%); and Shigeru Ishiba, 42 (29%). Ishiba has garnered strong local support in previous party presidential elections.

 

Some prefectures have not disclosed the results of their primary elections. Based on an independent tally made by the Asahi Shimbun, however, more than 360,000 LDP local members voted for Suga, while more than 210,000 voted for Ishiba and roughly 90,000 for Kishida.

 

Suga won the top place in 38 prefectural primaries. The eight prefectures that adopted a “winner-takes-all” method, including Tokyo, Kanagawa, Wakayama, and Yamaguchi, gave all three of their votes to Suga. Many prefectures adopted the D’Hondt method, where votes are allocated among the candidates according to the support they receive in the local federation primary.  Suga garnered votes in those prefectures, as well.

 

Support for Suga from LDP prefectural assembly members also rose because he secured overwhelming support from LDP Diet members after five LDP factions expressed their support.

 

Ishiba failed to consolidate the local vote to compensate for his weak support in the Diet. Ishiba’s position as the “advocate of regional communities” was stolen by Suga, who initiated a hometown tax donation program and has been called a “bumpkin” by former LDP General Council Chairman Wataru Takeshita.

 

A senior Upper House member who belongs to the Suga camp said, “Suga was able to gather a great number of votes by leveraging his image as a country boy from Akita Prefecture who climbed the social ladder by sheer strength of character. The idea that Ishiba excels at collecting regional votes has been overturned.”

 

This was Kishida’s first time to run for the party presidency, and he suffered from relative obscurity among local members. He gained only ten votes, three of which came from Hiroshima, his home prefecture, and two from Yamanashi. Forty prefectural federations cast no votes for Kishida.

 

Finishing second in the election is considered important to prove viability as a candidate in the next party presidential election, which will be held in September 2021. Kishida won second place by receiving 21 more votes overall than Ishiba did. However, the big difference in the number of votes for Suga and Kishida has already prompted the Kishida camp to re-examine its campaign strategy for the next LDP presidential election. (Abridged)

 

Asahi Shimbun tally of LDP presidential election prefectural votes

(Total: Suga, 89 votes; Ishiba, 42; Kishida, 10)        

Prefecture

Methodology

Suga

Ishiba

Kishida

Hokkaido

W

(winner-takes-all)

3

0

0

Aomori

D

(D’Hondt)

2

1

0

Iwate

D

2

1

0

Miyagi

D

2

1

0

Akita

No primary held

3

0

0

Yamagata

D

1

1

1

Fukushima

D

1

1

1

Ibaraki

D

2

1

0

Tochigi

D

2

1

0

Gunma

D

2

1

0

Saitama

W

3

0

0

Chiba

W

3

0

0

Kanagawa

W

3

0

0

Yamanashi

D

1

0

2

Tokyo

W

3

0

0

Niigata

Senior members decided based on results of primary

3

0

0

Toyama

D

1

2

0

Ishikawa

D

2

1

0

Fukui

D

2

1

0

Nagano

D

2

1

0

Gifu

D

2

1

0

Shizuoka

D

2

1

0

Aichi

D

2

1

0

Mie

D

1

2

0

Shiga

D

2

1

0

Kyoto

D

2

1

0

Osaka

D

2

1

0

Hyogo

D

2

1

0

Nara

Winner took 2 votes;

second-place finisher, 1 vote

2

1

0

Wakayama

W

3

0

0

Tottori

D

0

3

0

Shimane

D

1

2

0

Okayama

D

2

1

0

Hiroshima

D

0

0

3

Yamaguchi

W

3

0

0

Tokushima

D

2

1

0

Kagawa

D

1

1

1

Ehime

D

2

1

0

Kochi

D

1

2

0

Fukuoka

D

2

1

0

Saga

D

2

1

0

Nagasaki

D

1

1

1

Kumamoto

D

1

1

1

Oita

D

2

1

0

Miyazaki

D

1

2

0

Kagoshima

D

2

1

0

Okinawa

W

3

0

0

 

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