Support for the Liberal Democratic Party is at 30.7 percent, according to a Kyodo News poll released Sunday, down 7.9 points from a similar poll taken ahead of the 2001 House of Councilors election.

According to the nationwide telephone poll conducted Thursday through Saturday ahead of the July 11 Upper House election, the Democratic Party of Japan saw its support surge 6.2 percentage points from three years ago to 16.1 percent.

The largest group of respondents, 36 percent, said they support no particular party. This is up from from 28.6 percent in 2001.

Asked which party they would vote for in the proportional representation part of the ballot, 27.9 percent said they have no party affiliation and 17 percent who support the Social Democratic Party said they would cast their vote for the DPJ.

Fourteen percent of those who said they support the LDP said they would cast their proportional representation ballot for the DPJ.

The poll’s results show it is virtually certain that the opposition DPJ will garner more votes than the LDP in the proportional representation section of the election, which accounts for 48 of the 121 seats up for grabs.

New Komeito, the junior partner in the ruling coalition, saw its support hold steady at 5.1 percent. The Japanese Communist Party’s backing saw a 0.8 point decline to 3.4 percent, while the SDP’s support fell 2.3 points to 2 percent.

In the 2001 Upper House election, the LDP saw support among nonaffiliated voters rise thanks largely to the popularity of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who just months before had assumed the prime ministership along with the party presidency. It won a total of 64 seats in that race.

The survey was conducted by randomly dialing numbers selected by a computer. There were 59,828 calls that successfully connected to households with eligible voters, of which 43,605 people responded.

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