My predictions for 58 seats to the DPJ is getting hammered.
1) Turnout seems to have been abysmal. The number that just flashed upon the screen was 43.25% of the eligible electorate voting.
When turnout is that low, a huge number of voters are confused as to how their votes will matter -- and they stay home.
The DPJ lives and dies on convincing the non-aligned voters to turn out. In the total destruction of meaning in this election, a huge number of the non-aligned seem to have decided to sit this one out.
2) Though it is still unclear, the indications are that activities of local chapters of the New Komeito have condemned the party to the policy wilderness. If, as the press has reported, many of the local chapters have told their voters to support the LDP candidate in the single-seat and double seat districts, then the party has guaranteed the DPJ will never choose the New Komeito as a coalition partner.
The historical significance of this decision cannot be overemphasized. Since 1993, the Komeito and its sucessors have always sought to ally with the party either in power or capable of winning an election, as it did as a part of Ozawa Ichiro's conservative-conservative New Frontier Party in the 1995 House of Councillors election. The party has not at any time in the last 27 years ever strayed from a drive for power. Even though the NFP lost only 4 seats in the 1996 House of Representatives election, and was still a huge force in the House with 156 seats, the Komeito halted the full absorpton of itself into the party after Tsutomu Hata and his followers left to form the Sun Party (Taiyo no To).
It is unclear what the New Komeito thinks it is doing, having put itself into a position where the DPJ has reason to hate it ever more than it hates its main rival the LDP.
There is just no accounting for political auto-ostracism.
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