Matsuda's becoming an independent and his stated wish to campaign hard "in order to promote the cultivation of a new polical force in Gifu" solidies the likely DPJ pick up of a Gifu seat in the House of Councillors. Politically, Gifu should be considered a swing prefecture, with three district seats going to Democrats and two staying with the LDP in 2009. The Gifu House of Councillors delegation
Matsuda is now the fifth sitting member of the LDP's House of Councillors delegation to quit the party since the debacle in last year's House of Representatives election.
For those keeping score at home, the party affiliations in the House of Councillors, after today:
DPJ-led four party caucus 122
LDP-Reform Club 81
New Komeito 22
Communist Party 7
Later - As regards the howling error, the House of Councillors website needs more legible lists...and searchable ones too. Who puts a space in between the two kanji of Gifu?