The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP) faces its most severe crisis yet as internal arguments, a poor showing in by-elections last month and the rise of rival Nippon Ishin no Kai threaten its status as Japan’s largest opposition party.

With the CDP in disarray and facing low poll numbers, leader Kenta Izumi’s announced goal of winning 150 seats in the next general election — up from its current total of 97 — appears difficult at best. During a May 12 news conference, Izumi indicated that if the party failed to reach that goal, he would resign.

Izumi later added that this was an expression of his determination to increase the CDP's seats, rather than a comment on the future of his leadership. That, in turn, sparked a short Twitter spat with veteran CDP lawmaker Renho, who said that Izumi was just offering excuses for his record as party chief.