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Nearly 30% to vote for Japan’s ruling LDP in general election, poll shows

Nearly 30% of voters plan to cast ballots for Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party in the proportional representation section of Sunday’s general election, compared with just over 11% for the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), according to the latest Kyodo News survey.

But the most, nearly 36%, said they were undecided on which party to vote for in the election.

For voting by constituency, about 36% preferred a candidate from the LDP-led coalition, while nearly 20% expressed support for one backed by opposition parties.

Kishida, who took office less than a month ago, called the election seeking a mandate to implement his COVID-19 and economic policies. He has said the LDP and its smaller partner Komeito are aiming to retain a majority of the 465 seats in the House of Representatives, the powerful lower chamber of the Diet.

In the nationwide telephone survey conducted over the weekend, 29.9% said they will vote for the LDP in the proportional representation section, under which 176 seats will be allocated based on how many votes parties win in 11 regional blocks.

The CDP had the backing of 11.6%, with the gap between it and the LDP down 1.6 percentage points from the previous poll, conducted Oct. 16 to Oct. 17.

Komeito, which is backed by the lay Buddhist organization Soka Gakkai, was chosen by 5.2% of respondents in the latest survey, while 4.8% said they will vote for the Japanese Communist Party. Those who answered “undecided” accounted for 35.6%.

Five opposition parties including the CDP and the JCP have formed an alliance for Sunday’s election, putting aside ideological differences and consolidating candidates to avoid splitting voters critical of Kishida and his predecessors, Yoshihide Suga and Shinzo Abe.

But the survey suggested such cooperation may be a double-edged sword, with 44.7% voicing approval for the tactic and 48.5% disapproval.

Regarding constituency voting, for which ballots will be cast for specific candidates, 33.3% said they will back the LDP, while 13.1% expressed support for the CDP, 4.3% for the JCP and 2.7% for Komeito.

The difference between the ruling coalition and the opposition alliance narrowed by 5.2 points compared with the previous survey.

Nearly half, 49.4%, said they want around the same number of seats to be held by the LDP and Komeito as opposition parties, up 4.2 points, while 34.6% said they want the ruling coalition to win and 11.4% said they are hoping for an opposition victory.

The approval rating for Kishida’s Cabinet was unchanged at 55.9%, while the disapproval rating stood at 35.9%, an increase of 3.1 points.

Asked what they view as the most important issue of the general election, 36.7% said economic policy, up 2.0 points, while 16.1% said the COVID-19 response, down 3.3 points.

Disappointingly for Kishida, 48.2% said they are not optimistic about his economic policy, in which he has pledged to put the world’s third-largest economy on a growth track and redistribute wealth to the middle class, while 44.6% said they have high hopes.

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