• SHARE

The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is likely to win more than 260 of the 480 Lower House seats up for grabs in the June 25 general election, according to the results of a Kyodo News poll released Tuesday.

According to the telephone survey, conducted June 16 through June 18 and covering 274,000 voters nationwide, the LDP is likely to secure the 254 seats needed to enjoy a stable majority — one in which it can chair all standing committees — without the assistance of any other party.

In contrast, coalition partner New Komeito is likely to lose some of the 42 seats it had going into the campaign, the survey indicated.

The New Conservative Party, the other ruling bloc member, is also likely to lose more than half the 18 seats it held before the Lower House was dissolved on June 2.

Despite the grim prospects for the junior parties in the ruling triumvirate, the survey showed the number of Lower House seats the ruling bloc is likely to secure will be close to 300.

The poll suggests the main opposition Democratic Party of Japan will secure about 110 seats, an increase from the 95 it held prior to the election. Support for the DPJ, however, does not appear to be growing rapidly.

The survey also showed that while the Japanese Communist Party is fighting an uphill battle, smaller parties such as the Liberal Party and the Social Democratic Party are putting up a good fight.

Only 62 percent of voters surveyed by Kyodo responded to the phone poll, with 35 percent of them saying they were undecided on how they would vote.

The actual number of seats each party secures will be influenced by voter turnout. Opinions may also change in the days running up to the election.

The LDP appeared to be especially strong in the 300 single-seat constituencies, with its candidates likely to come out on top in about 170 of them. In conservative strongholds such as Gunma, Toyama, Gifu, Shimane, Okayama and Ehime prefectures, the LDP is likely to sweep all constituencies, according to the poll.

A further 50 or so LDP candidates have a chance of victory in single-seat constituencies. The party also seems likely to secure around 60 seats through the proportional representation ballot, in which voters cast ballots for the party of choice rather than an individual.

The survey showed the LDP could maintain the 271 seats it held going into the election, despite the reduction in seats for this election from 500 to 480.

Meanwhile, according to the poll, the DPJ is likely to win around 40 seats in single-seat constituencies. A further 40 or so candidates have a good chance of defeating their ruling-bloc affiliated rivals, mainly in urban areas in and around Tokyo and in the Kinki region.

But in the proportional representation part of the race, the DPJ looks as though it will have to be satisfied with around 47 seats — the number with which the party entered the campaign.

The prospects for New Komeito, which made efforts to select only its most hopeful candidates for the single-seat constituencies, seem bleak in the electoral districts, the survey suggests. Furthermore, it appears that the party may capture only about 24 seats through proportional representation.

The JCP may lose some of its seats in the constituencies, dampening the rise in popularity it had been experiencing in local-level elections.

According to the poll, the number of New Conservative Party candidates to win in single-seat constituencies may fall to about 8, and it is also struggling on the proportional representation side.

For the Liberal Party, while the number of seats won in the electoral zones may drop to fewer than four from the seven it held going into the election, it appears to be faring well in proportional representation. The SDP also looks likely to be able to maintain roughly the same number of seats with which it started.