Official campaigning for a House of Representatives by-election in Nagasaki Prefecture began Tuesday with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida struggling to restore public support, amid dissatisfaction over rising prices.

With campaigning for a separate contest to fill a vacant seat in the House of Councilors, or Upper House, already underway, the two by-elections scheduled for Oct. 22 have become battles between the ruling and opposition forces.

The polls are the first since Kishida revamped his Cabinet last month in an attempt to refresh the image of his government, approval ratings for which have plunged to their lowest level since he took office in October 2021. The results could influence Kishida's decision on when to dissolve the Lower House, political experts have said.