Yomiuri Shimbun (paid subscription wall) has run one of its massive pre-election polls (Dec. 4-5, 101,000 eligible voters) and precinct-by-precinct surveys and says that the LDP is on its way to a decisive simple majority in the House of Representatives. If that holds true to December 16, when the Japanese voters go to the polls, then my earlier assessment will be vindicated. The Asahi report (likewise) says the same thing, The Sankei survey is more modestly headlined, forecasting an LDP-Komeito majority, but the actual numbers, again, say that the LDP will win a majority on its own.
That said, the LDP-Komeito coalition needs 320 seats for a supermajority to override a House of Councillors veto. Is that possible? Komeito should max out at 30, 31 if the LDP really busts out in the regional proportional district (RPD) vote and helps one more Komeito RDP candidate in the process. And Kunio Hatoyama, the independent single member district (SMD) candidate who should be readmitted to rejoin the LDP after the election, may pull out a victory. And even in this best-case scenario, the LDP needs 289 seats to make a supermajority coalition.
That’s literally incredible. Collaboration with the DPJ on the social security and tax reform and a case-by-case, collaborator-by-collaborator approach to legislation by necessity remains the most likely post-election outlook.