LDP at risk of losing single-party majority

REUTERS/Issei Kato
A view shows a parliamentary session at the Lower House of Parliament in Tokyo, Japan November 10, 2021.

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party might struggle to secure a single-party majority in the upcoming House of Representatives election, with tight races forecast in about 40% of the 289 single-seat constituencies, according to a Yomiuri Shimbun survey.

Opposition parties are closing in on the LDP in many single-seat constituencies in the final phase of campaigning ahead of the election on Sunday.

Candidates are contesting 465 seats — 289 in the single-seat constituencies and 176 in the proportional representation section.

Only 113 LDP candidates are forecast to perform well in their constituencies while 104 candidates are expected to face close contests. The number of LDP candidates expected to face an uphill battle increased to 60 from the 46 logged in a Yomiuri survey conducted just after the campaign kicked off.

The LDP is struggling in areas where opposition parties have strong bases, such as Hokkaido, Osaka and Okinawa prefectures, but is expected to do well in areas with firm conservative support, such as Toyama, Yamaguchi and Kochi prefectures.

There is a possibility that the ruling party will dominate in all three single-seat constituencies in Yamagata Prefecture.

In the proportional representation blocks, the LDP is expected to win nearly 70 seats. Overall, however, the party is likely to secure fewer seats than the 276 it held before the election.

Komeito, the LDP’s junior coalition partner, is expected to perform strongly in all nine of the single-seat constituencies in which it has fielded candidates. In the proportional representation section, the party could win more seats than the 21 it secured in the previous lower house election in 2017.

The ruling coalition is aiming to win at least 244 seats to maintain its controlling majority in the chamber, which would enable it to chair all 17 standing committees and comprise the majority of members in all the committees.

According to the survey, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan has the upper hand in 37 constituencies, up from 30 in the previous survey. The leading opposition party held 110 seats before the election, but the number could rise by nearly 30.

However, with 94 of its candidates forecast to face close contests, the situation is uncertain.

In the proportional representation section, the CDPJ is forecast to win more than 40 seats.

The Japanese Communist Party, which is expected to do well in Okinawa Constituency No. 1, aims to win 10 or more seats in the proportional representation section. The party is forecast to secure more seats than the 12 it held.

Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) is tipped to secure a majority in the 19 single-seat constituencies in Osaka Prefecture, where the party is based, and win 20 or more seats in the proportional representation section. The party had 11 seats before the election, but that number could more than triple.

The focus for the Democratic Party for the People will be whether it can maintain the eight seats it held.

The survey was conducted by phone between Tuesday and Thursday and 182,039 people responded.

The situation was analyzed by taking into account the results of the survey and interviews conducted by Yomiuri Shimbun bureaus and departments.

Some respondents did not name the candidates or parties they would vote for, leaving the possibility that the situation could still change.

The Yomiuri Shimbun
An illustration : Single-seat constituency forecast