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Trend Condition Remains Bearish

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Major Japanese media outlets conducted large-sample opinion polls over the last two days, as official campaigning for the October 31 election kicked off. All of them expect the ruling coalition to secure a simple majority of 233 seats. However, it is unclear if the LDP-Komeito alliance will be able to command an "absolute majority" of 261 lawmakers amid expectations of tight races in many single-seat districts.

  • The latest poll from Kyodo News Agency suggested that the LDP is poised to win at least 233 seats. Kyodo noted that LDP-backed candidates "are leading in around 190 of the 289 single-member districts" and the ruling party is "also ahead in proportional representation (...) reflecting returning support for the LDP after (...) Yoshihide Suga stepped down." The main opposition CDP leads in around 50 single-seat districts and is "competitive" in around 40 more, but has only "lacklustre" support in proportional representation.
  • The conservative-leaning Yomiuri sees LDP candidates leading in around 120 single-seat districts and lagging in around 40, especially in constituencies where the opposition have fielded joint candidates. Out of the 214 candidates fielded by the CDP in single-seat constituencies, around 30 are seen as having the upper hand. The newspaper's analysis suggested that the LDP may perform well in proportional representation.
  • The opinion poll conducted by Asahi showed that 38% of respondents wanted to pick the LDP in party-list vote, while 13% preferred the CDP, with the gap narrowing by 3pp since the previous poll conducted right after the inauguration of the Kishida Cabinet. This coincides with a 4pp drop in PM Kishida's approval rating, which fell to 41%.
  • The Mainichi published the results of their own survey, which suggested that the LDP will likely lose some seats, but should defend simple majority once they form a coalition with Komeito. The Mainichi saw tight races in 63 single-seat constituencies and noted that it is uncertain if the ruling coalition will command an "absolute majority."
  • The Nikkei published an analysis, which suggested that the LDP-Komeito alliance should retain a simple majority of seats, albeit the race will be tight. As many as 40% of the 289 single-seat constituencies may see ruling coalition and opposition candidates go toe-to-toe, while 20% of respondents said they were still undecided. Meanwhile, it is unclear if the CDP will be able to maintain their previous share of party-list seats.