Sunday, May 18, 2008

Prefectural Chapters Don’t Want to Fight Next Election under Fukuda

Prime Minister Fukuda’s poll numbers continue to slip. Now, the LDP party faithful are also turning against its leader.

Asahi asked the prefectural chapters of the LDP and DPJ to see if they wanted to go into the next House of Representatives election under Yasuo Fukuda and Ichiro Ozawa respectively. In the LDP, only 12 chapters were willing to go with Mr. Fukuda, while 22 chapters wanted a replacement. By contrast, Mr. Ozawa had the support of 44 DPJ chapters.

And it looks even worse for Mr. Fukuda when you go into more detail. Of the ten prefectures with the largest populations, seven* want to go with someone new, while only two** want Mr. Fukuda to stay. (Tokyo, the most populous prefecture, chose neither of the two options.) Between No.11-20, it was six to two against him. Smaller, more rural prefectures are showing loyalty.

A Prime Minister used to have the choice between picking up his marbles and calling it a day, or dissolving the HR and calling a general election. But Mr. Fukuda is not a faction chief, so he has nothing to pick up. His options are limited.

* Osaka, Kanagawa, Aichi, Saitama, Hyogo, Fukuoka, Shizuoka
** Hokkaido, Chiba

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