Wednesday, December 05, 2012

LDP Undead Measure of Its Optimism

LDP 43, DPJ 3; that’s the score for the number of “undead” candidates, the regional proportional districts (RPD)-only candidates that a party tacks on at the end of its RPD list in case just in case it wins so many seats in the single member districts (SMD) in the region that it runs out of zombies to fill its RPD quota and has to cede the remainder to the party next in line. (SMD losers fill in the party RPD quota in the order of the ratio of that candidate’s SMD votes to the winner’s SMD votes.) A zombie candidacy requires a 3 million yen forfeitable deposit for the SMD bid, plus an extra 3 million deposit for the RPD insurance. An undead candidacy is more expensive (a 6 million deposit per head to be precise), more likely to be subject to forfeit, and less likely to result in a Diet seat. Thus, the number of undead candidates is a useful indicator of the confidence on the part of the party leadership.

The LDP apparently feels particularly sanguine about its prospects in conservative strongholds Chugoku and Shikoku regions, with zombie-undead ratios of 18:8 for 11 RPD seats and 13:5 for 6 RPD seats respectively. By contrast, it is being extremely parsimonious with its deposit money in the Kanto, Chubu, and Kinki metropolitan. Indeed, in Kinki, where the Hashimoto-Ishihara lovechild looks likely to top the voting, it’s 38:1 for 29 RPD seats.

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