Asō Tarō wins the presidency of the Liberal Democratic Party and hence the premiership in a crushing fashion.
The Koizumi crypto-faction, pressed to the wall by multiple reversal in the course and popularity of reform, can only muster 46 Diet member votes for their stalking horse, Koike Yuriko. Koike fails to win even a single vote from the local party chapter representative elections.
Ozawa Ichirō is reelected without opposition on Sunday.
Asō Tarō's Quintilemma:
1) In all the polls of "Who is the most appropriate person to be Prime Minister at this time?" he obliterates Ozawa.
2) The last two prime ministers have seen their popularity ratings decay rapidly over their first several months in office. Asō will receive something of a honeymoon level of popularity from the public. He cannot hope to avoid serious deterioration as the battles with the Democratic Party of Japan mount.
3) The LDP's coalition partner the New Kōmeitō is demanding an election by the end of the year.
4) Despite their measily showing in the LDP presidential election, the Koizumi loyalists still have one more card to play: their district seat holders can jump ship from the LDP. If they should do so, the coalition would lose its two-thirds majority, making any delay in holding an election pointless.
5) For two years now, when asked their preference, voters have consistently voiced a preference for a "DPJ-led coalition government" or an "outright DPJ government" rather than their LDP equivalents.
You tell me what Asō is going to do.
Back to Square One for Abe?
7 minutes ago