In a Kyōdō poll conducted over the weekend, the percentage of voters supporting the Cabinet was found to have dropped to 17.5%, down 8.7 points from a month ago. A Mainichi poll also conducted over the weekend found 19% support for the Cabinet, a fall of 5 points from a month ago. As for the always peculiar "Who is the most appropriate person to be prime minister?" question, Democratic Party of Japan leader Hatoyama Yukio received 50.4% of the votes in the Kyōdō poll, with only 21.4% supporting the PM. The Mainichi poll had a smaller gap, to 32% for Hatoyama and 15% for Asō -- but the Asō number represents a 6 point fall from only a month ago.
Allegiance to the opposition Democratic Party of Japan over the ruling Liberal Democratic Party showed a staggering, unprecedented gap, with 38.5% for the DPJ versus 19.8% in for LDP in the Kyōdō poll. In the Mainichi poll the gap was smaller, 34% of respondents saying they are pro-DPJ versus 20% pro-LDP. However, an astonishing 47.8% of respondents in the Mainichi poll claimed they were going to vote for the DPJ's candidates, while only 18.7% expressed an intent to vote for LDP candidates.
No politician I, but it looks like the ruling coalition's decision to delay the dissolution of the Diet until after the Tokyo Municipal elections was a bad, bad, bad, bad idea.
Given the inexorable decay visible in these polling numbers and the near impossibility of holding a House of Representatives election in either July or August, the tip-tapping over forcing an Asō resignation, opening the way for a new party president to lead the LDP in an October election -- despite the humiliating image that would create of a third consecutive LDP Prime Minister failing to serve in office for even a year -- has become a steady drumbeat.
Of course, the Devil is not in the details, but in the premise: who would be mad enough take over the leadership of the LDP at this point?
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