Voters cast their ballots for continuity over change on Sunday, with Osaka Gov. Ichiro Matsui and outgoing Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto's hand-picked successor, Hirofumi Yoshimura, declaring their win over the established party challengers.

The double victory by Matsui and Yoshimura is also expected to give a much-needed boost to efforts by Hashimoto and Matsui to attract current Diet members to their fledgling national political party Osaka Ishin no Kai, and to that party’s efforts to recruit strong candidates over the coming months for next summer’s Upper House election and, possibly, a Lower House election as well.

What the election results will mean to the national political scene over the coming weeks is unclear.