Japan’s ruling bloc appears to be clinging to majority in October 31 election

The Liberal Democratic Party of Japan is likely to lose a few seats in the October 31 lower house election, but the ruling coalition it forms with the Komeito Party is expected to retain a majority, several newspapers said Thursday, citing the results of their poll.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is aiming for a clear electoral mandate to push forward his response to the coronavirus and his measures to reinvigorate the economy affected by the pandemic, but the weak election results could turn him into another prime minister in the short term. Kishida succeeded Yoshihide Suga as the leader of the world’s third-largest economy on October 4 after Suga’s popularity plummeted as he struggled to contain a fifth wave of coronavirus infections.

A poll by the daily Asahi Shimbun showed that 38% of those polled intended to vote for Kishida’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), up from 41% in the previous survey earlier this month. In the latest poll, 7% of those polled said they planned to vote for the Komeito, up from 5% in the previous poll, while the percentage of those who intended to vote for the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan , the biggest opposition, remained unchanged. of the previous poll to 13%.

Other newspapers, including the Mainichi daily, have also said the ruling bloc is likely to win a majority, although the PLD is likely to suffer some setbacks. The PLD won a solid victory in the previous lower house elections in 2017 under the leadership of Shinzo Abe, Japan’s longest-serving prime minister, who resigned last year due to health concerns. Political analyst Atsuo Ito said the LDP’s cuts should come as no surprise after its huge victory in 2017, but a significant loss of seats will be a destabilizing factor within the ruling party.

“I think the threshold will be around 30 seats. If the LDP loses more than that, doubts could arise within the LDP as to whether it will be able to fight the upper house elections next year under Mr. . Kishida, “Ito said. “That said, they will likely still be reluctant to change prime minister within a year. So other measures such as a major cabinet reshuffle could take place instead.”

Kishida said he was aiming for a simple majority for the ruling coalition. The LDP and Komeito held nearly two-thirds of the seats in the lower house, which was dissolved last week.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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