Monday, July 13, 2009

Asahi Superimposes the Tokyo Results onto the Lower House Election—Not so Fast

Asahi makes an attempt to translate the results of the Tokyo’s Prefectural Assembly election to its single-member districts (SMDs) in the Lower House of the national Diet*. According to the report, the DPJ comes out ahead in 24 out of the 25 SMDs, and all 25 if you include the successful Networks candidate—which as I’ve noted before supports the DPJ in national elections—that the DPJ supported in the remaining one. So does that mean that the DPJ will sweep the board come 30 August? (Which reminds me, happy birthday CAO.)

Not so fast. If you are going to count the Network seat as a DPJ gimmie, then the LDP will surely want to add the Komeito votes in the national tally. The LDP and Komeito will put up only one candidate in each of the 300 SMD elections nationwide between the two. The LDP-Komeito vote combined take would beat the DPJ in 7 out of 15 seats in the Tokyo SMDS included in the 3-seat-and-up multi-member districts that Komeito did contest. That’s not really fair either. You have to add to the DPJ tally the Network votes—as well as a portion of the Communist vote in the SMDs where the JCP will not put up candidates. No matter. My point is that counting the Network seat without taking into account the Kometo vote is wishfulAsahi thinking.

* I’ve reproduced the relevant Asahi image at the top since Asahi usually takes its material off-line very quickly. Asahi, like most of the Japanese mass media, essentially hates the Internet.


Tinter said...

Its true that without taking into account the Komeito vote its all wrong. Its also true that Komeitos vote certainly came out more strongly than expected, given the circumstances.

But we saw it come out for Komeito candidates- I think this also leaves unresolved the question of if Komeito voters are willing to come out to vote LDP in the same strength as they have previously? After all, jointly backed candidates have not been performing well in a number of other elections.

Of course, we will probably have to wait until August for a real answer to that question.

wataru said...

How likely is it that Komeito will pin its election strategy to an LDP win, when the odds strongly favor a loss of power? Is it set in stone that Komeito will continue with the usual election district cooperation with the LDP? The party must be thinking right now about fielding their own candidates regardless of the LDP slate, and then allying with the eventual winner in a coalition. The alternative is to lose their clout and have their ties to Soka Gakkai come under scrutiny.

Tinter said...

Komeito has a strong block vote and under the alliance may well sustain its position. Without it? Probably substantial loses. There nothing for the sitting Komeito assembly members to gain from leaving at the moment, so Komeito won't.

For better or for worse, Komeito is stuck with the LDP- well, mayhaps until upon death they do part.

Jun Okumura said...

Tinter, Wataru: I have been arguing for a while that there are no substantive issues that cause the Komeito to favor the LDP over the DPJ as a coalition partner. If anything, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election confirmed the existence of a solid Sokagakkai base that will support it rain or shine. If I were the Komeito leadership, I would maintain its marriage of convenience until the Lower House election is over, then reconsider our options. Remember, it’s the Upper House votes that the DPJ is likely to covet, and Koemito’s votes will come at a far less troubling price policywise than the Socialists’.