It was more like minutes than hours, wasn’t it? So what kind of people bolted the DPJ today over the prospective consumption tax hike to form a new party? Mainly proportional-only candidates, most of whose prospects of reelection in anything but a landslide by the DPJ are nil, that’s who*. For these people, their best chances would lie in running as bi-candidates in a new party and hope that the new party wins enough votes (and they lose by small enough margins) to allow them to make it back as zombies.
Beyond that, my guesstimate says that the DPJ could win 180 out of the 304 first-past-the-post districts—the DPJ won 227 in 2009—and the DPJ’s 45 proportional-only incumbents would still be in danger of being wiped out**. It’s not a good time to be a DPJ Diet member who doesn’t have a single-seat district to hedge his/her bet and be eligible to compete with all the other bi-candidates for zombie status. But running in a single-seat district will cost you, so it’s not a viable option unless you’re deep-pocketed or willing to bet the farm.
There was another DPJ defector today, but that’s more the subject of comedy. I might go back to it tomorrow.
* Akira Uchiyama(3rd term) South Kanto ranked 1st, among DPJ proportionals; lost Chiba 7th; Ozawa group
Koichiro Wtanabe (2nd) Tokyo 29th among DPJ proportionals, of whom 23rd-29th got in; Ozawa; habitual loser
Juntaro Toyoda (2nd) Kinki 51st, 45th-52nd; Ozawa; repeat loser (one win in 1993)
Mitsuji Ishida (1st) South Kanto 37th, 37-39th; Ozawa; one-time prefectural assembly election loser
Masae Kobayashi (1st) Tokai 39th; 34th-41st; Ozawa; mayoral election loser
Yoshinori Saito (1st) (斎藤恭紀〈１〉（宮城２区）鳩山
Atsushi Chugo (1st) South Kanto 1st , lost Chiba 12th; Ozawa; two-time municipal assembly winner
Nobuki Miwa (1st) Tokai 38th, 34th-41st; Ozawa; four-time prefectural assembly winner
Yoshihiko Watanabe (1st) Kinki 48th, 45th-52nd; Ozawa; two-time loser, hid bankruptcy procedures to remain on DPJ list
** There are ways to develop more detailed estimates, but I’m not sure it’s worth my time unless I’m getting paid for it.