The ruling Liberal Democratic Party is projected to lose 40 seats in the Oct. 31 Lower House election, campaigning for which kicked off Tuesday, but will still gain a large enough majority to exert significant influence within the Diet by combining its seats with that of its junior coalition partner, a pollster has found.

The projection by Takuma Ohamazaki, a political analyst and CEO of election consulting firm J.A.G Japan, showed the LDP would retain 236 seats in the election — 166 in single-seat districts and 70 of those allocated according to proportional representation. Coalition partner Komeito, meanwhile, would see its number of seats stay the same at 29. Together, they would get 265 seats.

“It may be better to say that the LDP would get away” with a loss of 40 seats, Ohamazaki said in an interview, adding that the LDP might have performed better had the party elected a leader more popular with the public.