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LDP on course to win over 300 seats: poll

Kyodo

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party is expected to maintain its dominance in the Dec. 14 House of Representatives election and claim more than 300 of the 475 seats, according to the latest Kyodo News survey.

The figure is far higher than Abe’s goal of securing an overall majority of 238 seats with the LDP’s junior coalition partner, Komeito, and even exceeds the 295 seats the LDP held before the more powerful Lower House was dissolved two weeks ago.

The telephone survey, conducted Tuesday and Wednesday, also showed that the main opposition force, the Democratic Party of Japan, is unlikely to pose a major threat to the LDP. The party is projected to win around 70 seats, up from 59 at the time of the chamber’s dissolution but well below its target of 100.

Abe has said the main purpose of the election is to seek a fresh mandate for his economic policies aimed at beating deflation, dubbed “Abenomics,” and his decision to postpone a second sales tax hike.

The ruling and opposition parties are locking horns over Abenomics, the restart of nuclear reactors and the right to collective self-defense, or defending allies under armed attack even when Japan itself is not threatened.

In the opposition camp, Ishin no To (Japan Innovation Party) is expected to emerge with fewer seats and the Japanese Communist Party is likely to fare better than it did in the previous Lower House election in December 2012.

Komeito looks strong, with a chance to pick up more than the 31 seats it previously held, the poll suggested. Jisedai no To (Party for Future Generations) is expected to fare poorly, while Seikatsu no To (People’s Life Party) and the Social Democratic Party also appear to be struggling.

Shinto Kaikaku (New Renaissance Party) may not win a single seat, the poll said.

The situation may change, however, with 53.5 percent of respondents saying they remain undecided who to vote for in the single-seat constituencies, and 45.5 percent still undecided on which party to back in the proportional representation section.

The survey covered 152,185 randomly selected households with eligible voters and drew 121,762 valid answers.