Nippon Ishin no Kai, an Osaka-born party, faces a make-or-break moment in next month’s series of local elections across the nation.

With a goal of winning 600 seats nationwide, Nippon Ishin is gambling that, eight years after the current version of the party came into being, voters in other parts of Japan, especially the Tokyo area, are now willing to cast their ballots for what is still a very Osaka-centric political party.

But as campaigning kicks off Thursday for the first round of governor, mayoral, prefectural and municipal elections on April 9, Nippon Ishin continues to struggle in the polls. Uncertainties about whether its candidates have the appeal to sway voters who would otherwise choose a candidate from a locally established party remain.