Log in
E-mail
Password
Remember
Forgot password ?
Become a member for free
Sign up
Sign up
Settings
Settings
Dynamic quotes 

4-Traders Homepage  >  News

News

Latest NewsCompaniesMarketsEconomy & ForexCommoditiesInterest RatesHot NewsMost Read NewsRecomm.Business LeadersCalendar 

Japan Opposition LDP Still Ahead in Polls, But Ruling DPJ Closing Gap

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
12/03/2012 | 04:55am CEST

TOKYO--With a general election only two weeks away, national opinion polls show the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party is still ahead of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party of Japan, though the gap between the two parties has narrowed amid signs of weakening support for the LDP.

The LDP came out on top in an opinion poll released Monday by Japan's largest daily, the Yomiuri Shimbun, with the backing in an election of 19% of respondents compared with 13% support each for the DPJ and the recently formed Japan Restoration Party. But the poll showed that the gap between the parties has narrowed since the newspaper's last survey, in which 25% said they would vote LDP, 10% opted for the DPJ, and 14% chose the JRP.

"There's no doubt that it'll be a difficult race," Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda said of his party's prospects Monday, one day ahead of the official start of the campaign.

"Numbers show that we're catching up (to the LDP)," Mr. Noda added, saying that the DPJ will strive to remain the party with "most seats'-- more modest than the LDP's goal of gaining a majority with its junior coalition partner.

But political watchers were skeptical as to whether shifting support levels meant the tables have genuinely been turned. "The narrowing of the gap is likely within the margin of error," said Jun Iio, professor of politics at National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies.

"Even if it accurately reflected the slight changes in LDP and DPJ support, the number of undecided voters is most telling," Mr. Iio said. The policy flip flops, party mergers and disbandments raise the question of what is being contested, and political instability is likely to last for months following the Dec. 16 outcome.

The results of Yomiuri telephone poll, conducted from Friday to Sunday with 1,071 respondents, also showed that the recently formed anti-nuclear Japan Future Party, led by Shiga Gov. Yukiko Kada, was only backed by 5% of respondents.

The survey showed a slight narrowing of the support gap between the leaders of the LDP and DPJ, with 28% saying they thought LDP President Shinzo Abe was best suited to be prime minister, compared with 21% who backed the incumbent Mr. Noda. A similar poll conducted from Nov. 23 to 25 indicated that 29% of respondents backed Mr. Abe against 19% for Mr. Noda.

The newspaper cited criticism of Mr. Abe for failing to clearly explain his fiscal, foreign and security policies as a possible reason behind the fall in his party's support.

The hawkish former prime minister has been rocking the markets with calls for "unlimited" easing and cooperation with the Bank of Japan to realize a 2% inflation target.

The LDP also led an opinion poll published Monday by the Asahi Shimbun, another of Japan's largest daily newspapers. In the Asahi poll, 20% of respondents said they would vote LDP in an election, down from 23% in last week's previous poll.

The results of the Asahi's weekend telephone poll showed 15% supporting the DPJ in the proportional representation vote, up slightly from 13% in the previous poll, while 9% backed the JRP, unchanged from the last poll. The Asahi survey had 926 respondents.

Both polls showed that a large proportion of voters were still undecided. The Yomiuri poll showed 36% of those surveyed had yet to decide which party they would vote for in the election or did not give a response, while the corresponding figure in the Asahi poll was 41%.

They also showed that the Japan Restoration Party, led by hawkish former Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara and outspoken Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, is running neck-and-neck with the DPJ.

Neither poll gave a margin of error.

Write to Alexander Martin at alexander.martin@dowjones.com and Toko Sekiguchi at toko.sekiguchi@dowjones.com

Subscribe to WSJ: http://online.wsj.com?mod=djnwires

share with twitter share with LinkedIn share with facebook
share via e-mail
0
Latest news
Date Title
02:19p FINTECH : Abu Dhabi Global Market beefs up its fintech
02:18p HONDA MOTOR : signs MoU with HDFC ERGO for 2-wheeler insurance
02:18p RENAISSANCERE : Insider Kevin Odonnell Sold 3,000 Shares of the Company
02:18p SPIRIT REALTY CAPITAL : Weiss Multi-strategy Advisers buys $55,772,274 stake in Spirit Realty Capital Inc (New) (SRC)
02:18p CITIZENS : Institutional Investors 2016 Q2 Sentiment
02:16p BANK OF CYPRUS PUBLIC : Bondholders say that without dynamic actions ‘we will not win our fight’
02:09p LEGANÉS V VALENCIA : La Liga – as it happened
02:03p “GLOBAL FINANCE” : KFH “ is the Safest Islamic Financial Institution In Kuwait and Region
02:01p ALBANY INTERNATIONAL : Statement from Albany International Corp. on the Death of Company Chairman Emeritus J. Spencer Standish
02:01p New Edition of APICS Dictionary and Learn It App Launched at APICS 2016
Latest news
Advertisement
Hot News 
21.42%Twitter In Talks with Suitors, Including Salesforce, Google -CNBC's Faber
15.45%Endo International CEO steps down, Campanelli named successor
9.77%SANTANDER CONSUMER : USA to Restate Financial Reports
-5.17%FINISH LINE : Comparable Store Sales Rise
-3.52%AP MOELLER MAERSK A/S : A.P. Moeller-Maersk to Split Into Two Separate Divisions -- 4th Update
Most Read News
09/24 FACEBOOK : apologises for shutting down Palestinian journalists' accounts
03:01a MICROSOFT : HostForLIFE.eu Launches Moodle 3.1.2 Hosting
09/24 MACY : Washington state mall shooting suspect named as victim's mother speaks
04:30a MANCHESTER UNITED : After dropping Rooney, United beats Leicester 4-1 in EPL
09/24 TURKEY TO CONTINUE ECONOMIC REFORMS : Deputy PM Simsek
Most recommended articles
05:38a TENCENT : to donate 2 percent of profit as Chinese online charity grows
09/24 Canada Unifor union sets tentative strike deadline for Fiat Chrysler
09/24 WELLS FARGO : Former employees file class action against Wells Fargo
09/24DJGENERAL MOTORS : GM Shows Off Coming Diesel-Power Small SUV
09/24DJForeign Jet-Fighter Makers Woo India