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The Liberal Democratic Party is likely to win a majority of the 480 seats in the House of Representatives in next Sunday’s general election, according to a Kyodo News survey.

The opposition Democratic Party of Japan is expected to boost its presence in the Lower House, but the number of seats could come to about 160, far short of its aim of 200 or more.

The telephone survey, conducted Friday and Saturday, drew a response rate of 54 percent from 259,000 people contacted.

It shows the LDP is likely to maintain the ruling coalition with New Komeito and the New Conservative Party and keep the power balance with the opposition camp almost unchanged.

One point of focus in the remaining week of campaigning will be how many seats the LDP and the DPJ can secure in Tokyo and Osaka, where their candidates are fighting close battles.

Candidates from the LDP, which held 247 seats before the Oct. 10 dissolution, appear likely to win about 150 of the 300 races in single-seat districts.

In the proportional representation component, from which the remaining 180 seats are elected, the LDP is expected to win about 70 seats. Dozens more LDP candidates could win, enabling the party to secure the majority, according to the poll.

The DPJ appears strong in urban areas, including Tokyo and Aichi Prefecture, and its candidates are expected to win in 60 single-seat districts and 60 seats from 11 proportional representation blocs.

The three parties in the ruling coalition are expected to jointly win more than the 269 seats they need to control all of the standing committees and to pass contentious legislation.

New Komeito is expected to more or less maintain the 31 seats it held before the election, and the NCP may lose many of the nine seats it held.

The power of the NCP was limited even before the election. Thus, its expected setback is unlikely to have an effect on the stability of the ruling coalition.

Meanwhile, two smaller and traditional opposition parties appear threatened.

The Japanese Communist Party had 20 seats before the election and the Social Democratic Party controlled 18. Both may see the numbers of their seats halved.

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