LDP still leads in voter poll, next is Nippon Ishin

Kyodo

The Liberal Democratic Party remains voters’ top choice for the Dec. 16 general election with a support rate of 18.4 percent, according a Kyodo News opinion poll conducted over the weekend.

The conservative LDP was followed by Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party), according to the nationwide telephone poll on Saturday and Sunday.

Nippon Ishin, led by former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, drew a support rate of 10.4 percent for the proportional representation segment of the election, up a tick from 10.3 percent in the previous poll on Nov. 24 and 25.

The ruling Democratic Party of Japan remained in third place with 9.3 percent after climbing from 8.4 percent in the previous survey.

The newly launched Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) garnered 3.5 percent support. The party, born late last month, quickly merged with Kokumin no Seikatsu ga Daiichi (People’s Life First) headed by political veteran Ichiro Ozawa, Genzei Nippon, and other small parties. Its support rate represented a gain of 0.8 point from the total support ratings in the previous survey.

Nippon Mirai, headed by Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada, came in fifth, while New Komeito ranked fourth with 4.8 percent, up from 3.8 percent.

Support for the Japanese Communist Party stood at 3.1 percent, up from 2.2 percent, followed by Your Party at 2.9 percent, up from 2.8 percent. The Social Democratic Party garnered 0.5 percent, down from 1.4 percent, and New Party Daichi 0.1 percent, down from 0.4 percent. New Party Nippon secured 0.3 percent and New Renaissance Party 0.1 percent.

The survey also signaled that 41.5 percent of the electorate has no idea who to vote for. The results said that 35.9 percent expect a new government following a political realignment after the election, while 19.1 percent expect a grand coalition between the DPJ and LDP, 19.0 percent expect an LDP-led government, and 7.4 percent anticipate a DPJ-led government.

Asked who is more suitable to be prime minister — current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda or LDP chief Shinzo Abe — 34.3 percent of the respondents picked Abe and 32.2 percent favored Noda. Abe has led Noda in this regard in all of the three pre-election polls by narrow margins.

No margin of error was given.

The support rate for Noda’s Cabinet stood at 26.8 percent, up from 23.9 percent in the previous survey.