The Yomiuri Shimbun poll that spanned August and September asked about respondents’ hopes for the results of the upcoming House of Representatives election and found that 50% wanted the current ruling parties to have slightly more seats than the opposition parties and 14% wanted the current ruling parties’ seats to greatly outnumber that of the opposition parties.
As for respondents hoping for a change of government, 21% wanted the current ruling parties to have slightly fewer seats than the current opposition parties and 9% wanted far more seats for the current opposition parties, for a combined 30%.
The poll was conducted by sending mail to 3,000 eligible voters nationwide between Aug. 17 and Sept. 22, with 2,140 people responding.
Among respondents who support an opposition party, 61% wanted a change of administration. Independent voters will be the key to the lower house election and they made up 51% of the respondents. Among these, 55% wanted the continuation of the LDP-Komeito coalition government, while 37% wanted a change of government.
As for the government’s response to the novel coronavirus, 73% of all respondents do not regard it highly. Among independent voters, the percentage who disapprove reached 84%. While independent voters are strongly dissatisfied with the government’s pandemic response, many don’t want opposition parties to govern.
With regard to election cooperation among the opposition parties in the lower house election, 48% of respondents said it would be better if many opposition parties cooperate even if they have some differences in policies, while the same percentage said it would be better if only parties with similar policies cooperate.
Among respondents who support the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan or the Japanese Communist Party, which are promoting electoral cooperation, more than 70% said the priority should be on cooperation over agreeing on policies. As for respondents who support Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), 60% said the priority should be on forming a consensus on policies.
When asked to select up to five out of 22 issues listed that respondents consider important for the election, the top three chosen were “measures against infectious diseases such as COVID-19” (69%), “social security such as health care, pensions and nursing care” (68%), and “the economy and employment” (60%).
Those three were followed by “tax reform including the consumption tax” (29%) and “measures to address the low birth rate and support for child-rearing” (27%). (Graphic created by JMH based on diagram on page 2 of the Oct. 3, 2021, edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun.)