Lead over LDP has doubled: poll

Kyodo News

The Democratic Party of Japan now has roughly twice as much support as the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, and is widening its ratings lead heading into Sunday’s general election, the latest Kyodo News survey showed Thursday.

In the nationwide telephone poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday, 35.9 percent of respondents said they plan to vote for the DPJ in the proportional representation section, up 3.3 percentage points from the previous survey carried out Aug. 15 and 16, while 17.9 percent said they will vote for the LDP, up 1.4 points.

A similar trend of voter preference for the DPJ was also apparent in single-seat constituencies, as 36.0 percent said they will vote for DPJ candidates, up 1.9 points, while 22.6 percent said they will cast their ballot for LDP candidates, up 3.8 points.

The survey also revealed that the percentage of voters who have not yet decided which party to vote for in the proportional representation segment of the House of Representatives race came to 30.9 percent, down 4.2 points.

Asked what type of administration they would prefer after the election, 40.9 percent opted for a DPJ-led government, almost the same level as the previous survey, while 20.2 percent chose an LDP-led government, up 2.0 points.

Those favoring an LDP-DPJ grand coalition government came to 14.3 percent, while 13.8 percent said they want to see a government formed under a new framework through a realignment of political parties.

On the question of who is most suited to be prime minister, 48.7 percent named DPJ President Yukio Hatoyama, up a fraction from 48.6 percent, while 22.7 percent preferred incumbent Prime Minister Taro Aso, up from 19.5 percent.

The approval rating for Aso’s Cabinet rose from 18.5 percent to 23.6 percent.

The poll, which received responses from 1,229 eligible voters, was conducted using calls made to numbers randomly generated by computers.

A Kyodo News poll released last Sunday said the DPJ would win more than 300 of the 480 seats in the Lower House if the election were held then, while the LDP would win less than 150. The poll surveyed 155,110 voters; Kyodo gave no margin of error. The LDP now has 300 seats and the DPJ 112.