The Liberal Democratic Party held onto its No. 1 position in the fifth and final pre-election poll by Kyodo News, while the Democratic Party of Japan managed to replace the recently formed Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) in second place.
In the nationwide telephone poll conducted Wednesday and Thursday, 22.9 percent of the 1,219 respondents said they intend to vote for the LDP in the proportional representation segment of Sunday’s election, up 1.8 percentage points from the previous poll conducted last Saturday and Sunday.
Asked who would be more suitable as prime minister — current Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, who heads the DPJ, or LDP chief Shinzo Abe — 34.2 percent of the respondents said Abe and 28.7 percent Noda. In the previous survey, Abe got 39.2 percent and Noda 30.7 percent.
Support for Nippon Ishin, headed by former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara, stood at 10.1 percent, down 0.5 percentage point, while the DPJ got 11.3 percent, up 1.0 point.
If voting proceeds in line with the poll, the LDP would return to power for the first time in three years.
The survey found that 36.5 percent have yet to decide which party to vote for in the proportional representation section.
Slightly less than 21 percent of unaffiliated voters said they would vote for the LDP if they had to choose, 13.9 percent said Nippon Ishin and 12.4 percent said the DPJ.
Abe, who was prime minister five years ago, has said his party plans to form a coalition government with New Komeito, which is backed by the major lay Buddhist group Soka Gakkai.
A total of 32.7 percent, however, said they expect the new government formed after the election to be shaped by political realignment, while 20.8 percent are anticipating an LDP-led administration and 20.0 percent a grand coalition involving the DPJ and LDP.
New Komeito garnered 5.7 percent support in the latest poll, followed by Your Party at 3.8 percent. Support for the newly launched Nippon Mirai no To (Tomorrow Party of Japan) headed by Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada stood at 2.5 percent, while the Japanese Communist Party secured 2.2 percent and the Social Democratic Party garnered 1.0 percent.
New Party Daichi, Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party) and DPJ coalition partner Kokumin Shinto (People’s New Party) may not win a single seat, the latest survey shows.