The first polls from news organizations after the official start of the campaign show that the ruling Liberal Democratic Party will sweep the Upper House Elections slated on July 21. If the numbers are to be believed, the LDP will have control of both houses of the Parliament, which is something that has not happened in three years.
The early polls show that the LDP and its junior partner New Komeito will be able to get more than 63 seats of the 121 that will contested, which will give them the majority in the Upper House, as they currently hold 59 of the other 121 not being contested this election. The Asahi Shimbun newspaper has even projected that they could win as many as 85 seats. But the polls also generally show that without New Komeito, the LDP wouldn’t be able to get the 72 seats it needs to take control of the Upper House. Despite being partners, the two parties have differences on a few major issues, including nuclear power and revising the Constitution.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe warned his followers that despite the good numbers being shown by these polls, they should not grow complacent and think they have the election in the bag because public support can change quickly. Kyodo News‘ weekend survey showed a slight drop in support for the LDP, from 31.1% to 29.8%, although it is still far from its nearest ranked rival. Even support for Abe’s cabinet in this survey dropped slightly, from 66.8% to 64.2%.
The opposing Democratic Party of Japan, which currently holds the majority of the Upper House, is expected to lose half or more of the 44 seats it is contesting. A change in majority leadership will make it easier for the administration to get the legislation they deem important through to both houses in the parliament.
[ via Wall Street Journal ]