Sunday, April 07, 2013

Landslide In The Making

From Kyodo's latest public opinion poll:

Which party or candidate from which party will you be voting for in this summer's House of Councillors election?
(all numbers are %)

LDP 48.2
DPJ 6.7
JRP 10.4
New Komeito 3.9
Your Party 4.5
Communist 3.2
SDP 1.6
Livelihood 0.5
Green Breeze 0.4
Other party 1.3
No preference 19.2

T'is a funky question, since the two ballots choices are separate -- one for a prefectural district candidate, one for a party in the proportional seat vote.

Still, the numbers are daunting for any of the opposition parties. Simply put, unless there are district spaces set asides, such as the Liberal Democratic Party may do for its ally the New Komeito, the LDP could basically win all the district seats and two-thirds of the proportional seats.

Perversely, the 48.2% of voters who say they are voting for an LDP candidate in July is lower than the party allegiance numbers. In this latest poll 50.6% of respondents identified themselves as LDP supporters.

Try to figure that one out, over coffee, preferably.


Jeremy Whipple said...

Perhaps some of the LDP's self-identified supporters have reservations about the party and don't want it to get an absolute majority in the upper house.

Troy said...

BOJ buying ¥110,000+ of JGBs per person age 25-64 per month -- how come the DPJ didn't think of that???

I do think Japan will be happier with the yen at 120 vs 80.

It's my understanding that the Japanese weren't seeing that buying power at the local conbini, but if Japan is going to retain some domestic manufacturing it's going to have to become more wage competitive with E Asia.

I don't know if this is going to actually work, but like Bill Gross said, at least the BOJ is going to go down swinging. . .

The only way to get through Japan's increasing dependency ratio is to get more people working I guess, and for that, Japan does sorta need the soft protectionism of a weaker currency.

This issue is too complex to analyze fully in a comment box.

Tokyoite 50%-voter in exile said...

Two minor comments over a European morning coffee:
1. The LDP can only win as many district seats as it has candidates, i.e. 47 as they play it safe and only nominate one candidate per prefecture (unless they have changed their strategy and I missed it). Add four Komeito candidates, and there would still remain 22 seats in multi-member districts for the opposition parties to fight over among themselves. But then there are maybe a few single-member districts left (Iwate? Maybe Hirata in Gifu?) where the opposition might stand a chance.
2. I haven't seen the results in Japanese media yet; but are you sure the poll was not only asking for the proportional vote? There you can vote for either a party or a candidate.

50%-enfranchised Tokyoite in exile said...

Just a correction to my previous comment: Of course, the LDP runs two candidates in Tokyo and a few other of the 3-/4-member districts, reducing the opposition minimum that I calculated accordingly. But still, unless they switch to an all-out attack strategy in all multi-member districts (risky under SNTV), the ceiling is somewhere around two thirds of district seats – not the 79% of district seats they got in the House of Representatives in December.

MTC said...

Anonymous 50%-enfranchised Tokyoite in exile -

Your comments are apt.

However, three goads toward thinking the impossible possible:

1) support for opposition candidates and their parties has fallen below survivability threshold everywhere except in the Kansai for the Japan Restoration Association. Look at the choice Hirano Tatsuo made: leaving the DPJ to run as an independent in Iwate without LDP support and with Ozawa Ichiro stabbing him in the back.

2)Look at the poll numbers showing huge majorities of voters wanting an end to divided government. The wish to untwist the Diet is overwhelming. So is, in some polls, the electorate's wish for constitution-revising majorities in both Houses.

3) There are no attractive policy choices in the House of Councillors election. The DPJ offers stagnation forever; the JRA offers "everything the radicals in the LDP want, only more so."

Neither of these is a winner, as far as offering an alternative to voting for the LDP.