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Poll: LDP may keep majority with fewer seats

By WANG XU in Tokyo | China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-10-28 09:56

An election campaign staff member holds leaflets of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party with cover photos of Japan's Prime Minister and the party's president Fumio Kishida  amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, in Tokyo, Japan, Oct 19, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party may suffer another blow losing seats in the country's general election on Sunday, but is likely to retain a legislative majority with coalition partner Komeito, according to a poll.

The LDP, under the leadership of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, suffered a setback over the weekend when it lost one of two by-elections for seats in parliament's upper house.

The results of the poll, conducted by Kyodo from Saturday to Tuesday, showed the LDP could fail to retain all the 276 seats it held in the 465-seat lower chamber of parliament, but still win more than the required 261 seats together with Komeito.

The projections from the poll suggest that the ruling coalition will have enough votes to effectively control all standing committees in the lower house and push its legislative agenda forward.

Unexpected blow

The survey results came just days after the LDP suffered a setback in the upper house by-elections. On Sunday, independent candidate Shinnosuke Yamazaki in Shizuoka prefecture won by about 50,000 votes over the LDP candidate, bringing an unexpected blow to Kishida.

The Kyodo poll also said the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan is gaining momentum to add more seats to its current 110.About 40 percent of the poll's 119,000 respondents had not yet decided how to vote in single-member districts.

Japan's House of Representatives adopted a parallel voting method in which 176 members are elected from 11 multimember districts and 289 members are elected from single-member districts to make a total of 465 seats.

Another poll by broadcaster Fuji News Network on Monday found that the LDP was in danger of losing its outright majority in parliament for the first time in 12 years. A major loss of seats for the LDP could weaken Kishida's grip over the party and raises the possibility that his time in office could be short-lived.

"Kishida might be pressured to produce a bigger stimulus package if his party fares badly in the election," stated a Bloomberg report, adding that the Bank of Japan is seen as standing pat on stimulus.

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