All national papers wrote that the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), the Japanese Communist Party (JCP), and other opposition parties were shocked by the election results since they lost ground despite the unprecedented levels of election cooperation. While they fielded 213 unified candidates in the 289 single-seat districts, only 30% of them won. Many voters critical of the ruling coalition apparently did not support CDPJ candidates because they saw the cooperation between the CDPJ and the JCP as “collusion” on account of the differences between the two groups’ views on key issues such as the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty and the constitutionality of the SDF. Because the LDP had stepped up its criticism of the CDPJ joining hands with the JCP in the final days of the campaign in response to CDPJ President Edano and other opposition officials’ vehement calls for a change of government, Nikkei conjectured that the ruling party may have succeeded in capitalizing on voters’ deep-seated wariness of communism.
As for the JIP’s solid performance, the papers speculated that voters critical of the ruling coalition probably voted for the JIP’s candidates instead of the CDPJ’s. Pointing out that both the LDP and the CDPJ focused on “wealth distribution” in their election campaigns, Nikkei conjectured that many voters perhaps responded positively to the JIP’s emphasis on its “unwavering commitment to reform.”