With just days to go before Japan’s lower house election determines the next government, local media polls showed Tuesday that the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party was on its way to a sweeping victory that could hand it and its smaller ally a two-thirds majority, allowing it to enact badly needed legislation that has been roadblocked for years.
Should the LDP and its ally, New Komeito, secure 320 or more lower-house seats, they could override any upper house veto, overcoming the gridlock of a “divided” parliament. Earlier this year, the passage of budget-related legislation was delayed by combined resistance by the opposition parties in the upper house.
The results of a survey by the Mainichi daily newspaper showed that the LDP appeared set to single-handedly win nearly 300 of 480 lower-house seats. Combined with those of New Komeito, the total could surpass 320.
The nationwide poll was conducted by telephone Saturday through Monday. The Mainichi said its projections were based on a survey of around 77,000 voters and additional reporting from its bureaus nationwide.
Polls released last week also projected a solid LDP majority. But the Mainichi survey is the first indicating that the former ruling combination of the LDP and New Komeito could secure a two-thirds majority.
The survey also projected Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda’s ruling Democratic Party of Japan is in for a crushing defeat, securing less than a third of its current 230 seats. That is a more dismal scenario than in earlier surveys projecting the DPJ losing over half its seats.