Interest in next Sunday’s general election has grown over the past week, but 44 percent of voters are still not sure which party to vote for, a Kyodo News poll showed Sunday.

Of the 2,000 respondents to Kyodo’s second pre-election telephone poll conducted Friday and Saturday, 67 percent said they are interested in the House of Representatives election, up 7 percent from the previous poll June 9 and 10.

In the proportional representation section where voters must choose a party rather than a specific candidate, 17 percent said they will vote for the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, which occupied 271 of the chamber’s 500 seats before its dissolution on June 2.

About 9 percent said they will back the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan, which held 95 seats.

New Komeito, which will be defending 42 seats, and the Japanese Communist Party, with 26, collected 4 percent each.

The percentages were 1 percent higher for each of the four parties from the previous poll.

The Liberal Party, which had 18 seats, and the Social Democratic Party, with 14, won 2 percent each. Supporters of all other parties accounted for less than 1 percent.

Reforms will trim the Lower House by 20 seats for this election. Of the 480 seats up for grabs, 300 will be elected from single-seat constituencies and 180 others by proportional representation.

Asked whether they usually support any particular party, 54 percent said no, down 3 percent, and of these 61 percent have not decided which party to vote for.

Of respondents in their 20s, only 43 percent said they are interested in the election, the same figure as in last week’s poll.

A final poll of 2,000 different people will be conducted Thursday and Friday.

Kanzaki vows support

NAGOYA (Kyodo) New Komeito will rally behind Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori’s government if the current three-way coalition manages to secure a majority in the June 25 general election of the House of Representatives, New Komeito chief Takenori Kanzaki said Sunday.

Kanzaki made the remark at a news conference in Nagoya, central Japan, where he is stumping. His party is a member of the ruling coalition, which also includes Mori’s Liberal Democratic Party and the New Conservative Party.

A total of 480 seats — 300 single seats and 180 proportional representation seats — are up for grabs in the upcoming poll.