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21% of Japan independent voters favor main opposition for party pick, Mainichi poll

TOKYO — Twenty-one percent of independent voters said they would vote for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) in the House of Representatives election’s proportional representation bloc in the latest Mainichi Shimbun opinion poll, surpassing the 15% who picked the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).

 

Of the 23% of respondents who said they supported no particular political party in the Oct. 19-20 survey, 8% answered that they’d vote for the conservative opposition Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party), 7% picked the Japanese Communist Party, 4% the Democratic Party for the People and 3% Reiwa Shinsengumi, among other choices. Meanwhile, 39% said they hadn’t decided which party to vote for in the proportional representation bloc.

 

While a simple comparison with past opinion polls is impossible as the survey methods are different, the percentage of non-affiliate respondents who named the CDP as their choice for proportional representation has widened, compared to the proportion who picked the LDP, from the Oct. 4-5 opinion poll jointly conducted by the Mainichi Shimbun and polling firm Social Survey Research Center.

 

More people have apparently decided on who and which party to vote for after the campaign period officially kicked off on Oct. 19, and the CDP appears to be gaining more support from independents than the LDP, but their momentum is not large enough to reverse the overall situation.

 

At the same time, it cannot be said the LDP maintains a stable support base. While 41% of respondents said they supported the ruling party in the latest survey, the percentage of those who picked the party for proportional representation was lower than that.

 

In a breakdown of responses given by LDP supporters, 72% said they’d vote for the party for proportional representation, while 4% named its junior coalition partner Komeito for the bloc. The CDP and Nippon Ishin were each picked by 6% of pollees, while 8% said they were undecided.

 

Meanwhile, only 59% of supporters of the Social Democratic Party (SDP), some of whose members joined the CDP in 2020, chose the SDP for their proportional representation pick, while 19% went with the CDP.

 

Big differences were seen among different age groups regarding their choice for proportional representation. Forty percent of respondents aged between 18 and 29 said they would vote for the LDP and 37% in their 30s said they’d do so, indicating that many young voters support the ruling party.

 

The CDP, on the other hand, was picked by 9% of pollees aged between 18 and 29, as well as those in their 30s, 12% in their 40s said they’d vote for the largest opposition party, 16% in their 50s, 24% in their 60s and 28% of those aged 70 and older.

 

Twenty-three percent of those aged 18 to 29 answered that they remained undecided, while the figure stood at 21% in their 30s, 19% in their 40s, 18% in their 50s, 12% in their 60s and 8% among 70-year-olds and above.

 

The latest survey has revealed that while the CDP has garnered support to some extent among older voters, it is failing to become an alternative for non-LDP supporters among young voters.

 

(Japanese original by Nanae Ito, Political News Department)

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