Japan ruling coalition to retain majority in election: Kyodo survey
Japanese go to the polls on Sunday and while surveys point to Shinzo Abe staying in power, many voters remain undecided
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s coalition is on track for a roughly two-thirds majority in Sunday’s general election, a survey by Kyodo news agency showed, as its conservative rival led by Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike appeared to lose momentum.
Japanese go to the polls on Sunday to elect representatives for the country’s 465-member lower house, the more powerful of Japan’s two-chamber parliament.
The Kyodo poll, conducted by telephone between Oct. 15-17, showed Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) poised to win about 280 seats in the 465-member lower house. Combined with its junior coalition partner Komeito, it is likely to retain about two-thirds of the seats, Kyodo said.
The ruling bloc held a two-thirds “super majority” before the chamber was dissolved for the snap election.
About two-fifth of voters polled were still undecided, suggesting they could still sway the results, it said.
If markets are an indicator for the Japan election, currency traders are also hedging their bets.
The dollar has gained against other currencies on speculation about rising US interest rates and a new head for the Federal Reserve, but it has made less headway against the yen.
Investors are hesitant to take big positions ahead of the election as memories of recent upsets in the US and the United Kingdom has taught caution.
The Party of Hope, which Tokyo Governor Koike launched last month as a “reformist, conservative” alternative to the LDP, has lost momentum since the previous survey, Kyodo said.
The Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDPJ), formed this month by liberal members of the Democratic Party, is set to beat out the Party of Hope to become the leading opposition party, at least doubling its representation, Kyodo added.
A Reuters corporate survey published on Wednesday showed Japanese companies overwhelmingly want Abe’s coalition to stay in power but also want it to lose seats, suggesting they want political stability but don’t want to hand him a landslide victory.