With one week to go before the Tokyo gubernatorial election, a poll by Kyodo News had former Transport Minister Shintaro Ishihara in front by a head.
Ishihara was leading a pack of four, all running virtually neck and neck: Man Mikami, an education critic backed by the Japanese Communist Party; Kunio Hatoyama, a former education minister and former deputy leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan; Yasushi Akashi, a former U.N. undersecretary general; and Yoichi Masuzoe, a former Tokyo University political science professor.
Koji Kakizawa, a former foreign minister, was behind that group. The poll was conducted over three days through Sunday.
Ishihara’s promise to take a clear-cut stance against the national government appears to be attracting both unaffiliated voters and supporters of the Liberal Democratic Party.
Among voters without party affiliation, which make up 60 percent of all eligible voters, one in five supports Ishihara, according to the survey. Masuzoe ranks second among this cross section and is followed by Hatoyama, Mikami, Kakizawa and Akashi, in that order.
Among LDP supporters, Akashi is the favorite with Ishihara close behind. But LDP supporters are also leaning toward Masuzoe, Kakizawa and Hatoyama.
The poll also says three of four JCP supporters say they will vote for Mikami, about 50 percent of the DPJ’s supporters will go for Hatoyama and about half of New Komeito’s supporters will vote for Akashi.
By gender, Ishihara is the most popular with voters of both sexes.
But among male voters, Masuzoe and Hatoyama are close behind, while Mikami, Akashi and Hatoyama are close behind Ishihara among female voters.