In an election that produced no surprises, it's little wonder the biggest political names in the six prefectures that make up the Kinki region (Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara and Wakayama) were all returned to the Diet, though one or two had a close call.

No doubt Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was especially happy with the result in the Nara No. 2 district, which includes the prefecture's eastern edge along the border with Osaka and the city of Nara.

There, his close friend, the ultra-right wing Sanae Takaichi, his internal affairs and communications minister, easily defeated a candidate from former Liberal Democratic Party heavyweight Ichiro Ozawa's latest political incarnation, Seikatsu no To (People's Life Party).