Nearly a quarter of swing voters cast ballots for the Liberal Democratic Party, which is projected to secure a comfortable majority in the upper chamber with coalition partner New Komeito, exit polls indicate.
Among voters interviewed at polling stations by Kyodo News, 20.3 percent said they did not support a specific political party. Of them, 23.0 percent said they had voted for the LDP in the proportional representation bloc or for LDP candidates in prefectural districts, up from 16.7 percent in the 2010 Upper House election.
Meanwhile, 15.5 percent of the unaffiliated voters said they voted for Your Party, down from 22.8 percent in the 2010 election but surpassing the 14.4 percent for the Democratic Party of Japan, which was in power for around three years until December.
The proportion of unaffiliated voters who cast ballots for the DPJ fell far short of the 28.8 percent tallied in the 2010 election, when it was dealt a major setback. Many swing voters who previously supported the DPJ ended up choosing other parties, such as Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Restoration Party) and the Japanese Communist Party.
The JCP won over 13.5 percent of the swing voters, compared with 7.1 percent in 2010.
Around 13.3 percent meanwhile backed Nippon Ishin, led by Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara. New Komeito won support from 8.9 percent, versus 7.5 percent in the last contest.
The Social Democratic Party was supported by 3.2 percent of swing voters, compared with 5.0 percent in 2010.
Meanwhile, a record number of voters used the early voting system for Sunday’s poll, the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry said.
For prefectural constituencies, the number given was 12,949,978, up 7.2 percent from the previous record high of 12,085,636 in the Upper House election in July 2010.
If verified, it would mean that 12.4 percent of all voters on the electoral roll as of July 3 used the system, the ministry said.