Thursday, June 17, 2010

House of Councillors Election - The Proportional Vote*

[* A formatting problem marred the original posting of this material. The original text is here reproduced sans the problem. - MTC]

So how will the various parties do in the proportional vote in July? Let's take a gander at the historical results for insights.

Year: 2004

Total votes: 55,431,789

Share of the vote:

DPJ: 37.7%
LDP: 30.3%
New Komeito: 15.4%
JCP: 7.7%
SDP: 5.3%
Women's: 1.7%
Green: 1.7%

Final number of seats, proportional vote in 2004

DPJ: 19
LDP: 15
New Komeito: 8
JCP: 4
SDP: 2
Women's: 0
Green: 0


Year: 2007

Total votes: 58,913,679

Share of the vote:

DPJ: 39.5%
LDP: 28.1%
New Komeito: 13.2%
JCP: 7.6%
SDP: 4.5%
JNP: 3.0%
PNP: 2.2%
Women's: 1.1%

Final number of seats, proportional vote in 2007

DPJ: 20
LDP: 14
New Komeito: 7
JCP: 3
SDP: 1
JNP : 1
PNP: 1
Women's: 0


How does the outlook for the July 2010 election look?

This week's Kyodo Tsushin poll of June 8-9, where the new Kan Cabinet received a hearty 61% approval rating, the DPJ's projected share of the proportional vote was astonishingly high.

When asked which party they intended to cast their vote for in the proportional vote, the respondents said:

DPJ: 48.3%
LDP: 21.6%
Your Party: 8.1%
New Komeito: 3.1%
JCP: 2.3%
SDP: 1.9%
PNP: 1.9%
Sunrise: 1.3%
New Renaissance 0.6%
The Spirit of Japan 0.1%
New Party Nippon 0.1%

Don't know 15.2%

Now if these numbers hold up until date of the July 11 elections, with the DPJ in the end receiving more than 40% or more of the popular vote, then the great dream of the DPJ's winning enough seats to have control of the House of Councillors seems assured (Alison, it seems you were right - MTC).

Much of the boost in the numbers for the DPJ (just four days earlier, the percentage of voters ready to cast their votes for the DPJ was only 34%) can be ascribed to exultation at the departures of Hatoyama Yukio, Shizuka Kamei and Ozawa Ichiro. However, 40% of the party line vote should be considered a floor for the DPJ in this coming election. In the decidedly heady August 2009 House of Representatives election, the DPJ's percentage of the proportional bloc vote ranged from a high of 46% in Hokkaido and Tokai to a low of 38% in the LDP bastion of Kyushu, with the median of all the blocks hovering around 42%. Since those August 2009 elections, the DPJ's main rival the LDP has been shedding many of its most attractive members; has watched professional group after professional group shedding its affiliation with the LDP; and has failed to come up with a convincing reason for the voters to cast their proportional ballots for the former party of government.

So what do the above Kyodo polling numbers foretell in the way of results in the proportional vote on July 11? Going out on a limb I would guess:

DPJ: 24 seats
LDP: 9
Your Party: 6
New Komeito: 6
JCP: 1
SDP: 1
PNP: 0
Sunrise: 1
New Renaissance 0
The Spirit of Japan 0
New Party Nippon 0

That my friends is a prognostication of the elements of a wipeout for the DPJ's rivals.


Jan Moren said...

The most interesting thing with that prognosis would be New Komeito supplanted as the natural third party in the upper house. And this despite having created some distance to their former coalition partners after last years disappointment.

I've been on this before, but I suspect this is a reflection not so much on the yearly vagaries of political fortunes, but on the long-term decline of the Komeito support base. They'll come to a crisis point in the not too distant future where they have to choose between remaining the political arm of Sōka Gakkai, or break out of that mold and transform into a more general faith-based conservative party.

MTC said...

Herr Morén -

I would agree with your thesis, except that the Komeito results show only a vague downward trend.

Total New Komeito proportional party (hireiku) votes:

1998 HoC 8,195,098

2000 HoR 7,762,032

2001 HoC 8,187,804

2003 HoR 8,733,444

2004 HoC 8,621,265

2005 HoR 8,983,612

2007 HoC 7,765,324

2009 HoR 8,051,007

I will have to see if voter turnout makes up for the seeming lack of clear trend in 2009.

Anonymous said...

The boost from 2003 to 2005 was supposed to be an effect of the cooperation with the LDP. The story was that in 2007, when the LDP was heavily defeated, it just didn't have the votes to give to the Komeito, which lead to a sudden drop-off. The Abe leadership not caring for the Komeito, and taking policies that aggravated its base didn't help either.
The uptick from 2007 to 2009 can probably be explained by the difference in voter turn out, and the fact that the Komeito was fighting for its life, even though that didn't stop them from being wiped out in every district that they had held.
So what will happen in 2010? I think that you can count on the numbers dropping from 2007, as there is really no cooperation with the LDP anymore, but how far is anybody's guess. Another thing that can't be told yet is, how much being out of power will effect the motivations of Gakkai members, although I think that with less to fight for, they will be low.

Anonymous said...

Uhhh, re. my comment on your other post ....
I see, I might understand.

Thank you!