Ruling bloc projected to win big in 2022 Upper House poll

Japan’s ruling bloc will win 30 of the 32 prefectural constituencies where only one seat is contested in next summer’s election for the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the country’s parliament, according to Jiji Press’ latest projections.

The projections were based on the results of proportional representation votes in last Sunday’s election for the House of Representatives, the lower chamber.

For each of the Upper House constituencies, the proportional representation votes were divided among three forces: the Liberal Democratic Party-Komeito ruling bloc, Nippon Ishin no Kai (Japan Innovation Party) and a group of five opposition parties that includes the main opposition Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan.

In the 2016 and 2019 Upper House elections, the five opposition parties won 11 and 10 constituencies, respectively, by promoting the unification of their candidates.

However, the projections suggested that the five parties could secure only two constituencies in the 2022 election. The two are Okinawa, where the opposition camp is traditionally strong, and Iwate, the hometown of veteran lawmaker Ichiro Ozawa of the CDP.

The opposition parties were forecast to lose Miyagi, Yamagata, Niigata, Nagano and Oita, where they secured seats in the previous two elections.

Of a total of 74 seats in all Upper House constituencies, meanwhile, 51 seats are expected to be secured by the ruling bloc and 20 by the five opposition parties.

Nippon Ishin no Kai, which had a strong showing in the Lower House election, is projected to suffer losses in all single-seat constituencies in the forthcoming Upper House election.

In multiple-seat constituencies, the western Japan-based party is estimated to win three seats: two in Osaka and one in Hyogo.

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