Exit poll: Anti-nuclear votes spread across the board

December 17, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

Ballots cast by people who advocate scrapping nuclear power ended up being spread among the various parties, meaning that anti-nuclear entities failed to gain seats, an Asahi Shimbun exit poll shows.

The Asahi Shimbun approached voters nationwide who had cast their ballots in the Dec. 16 Lower House election to find out if they supported "scrapping nuclear power immediately, "gradually phasing out nuclear power altogether" or "not pursuing zero nuclear power."

Fourteen percent chose scrapping nuclear power immediately, and 64 percent picked gradually phasing out nuclear power altogether.

Voters opposed to nuclear power cast ballots across a wide range of parties in the proportional representation system.

This was because parties other than the Liberal Democratic Party advocate a break with nuclear power to a certain extent.

Fifteen percent of the respondents said they do not want to pursue zero nuclear power.

The LDP has been a strong supporter of nuclear power. Yet, the party was supported by 16 percent of those who said they want to scrap nuclear power immediately, and 28 percent of those who said they supported gradually phasing out nuclear power altogether. This suggests voters made choices based also on issues other than on nuclear energy.

Of those who do not want to pursue zero nuclear power, 43 percent voted for the LDP.

In 13 prefectures hosting nuclear plants, voters showed a similar tendency. But 20 percent of those who favor scrapping nuclear power immediately and 31 percent of those who support gradually phasing out nuclear power altogether voted for the LDP. The rates were higher than the nationwide averages.

As for single-seat constituencies, the LDP got votes nationwide from 41 percent of those who support a gradual phasing out of nuclear power altogether, and 47 percent of those in the prefectures hosting nuclear plants who gave the same answer.

The Democratic Party of Japan garnered votes from 24 percent and 26 percent of such voters, respectively.

Higher percentages of people who want a gradual reduction of nuclear power voted for the LDP in the single-seat districts than in the proportional representation constituencies.

That was likely because "third force" parties that advocate a break with nuclear power fielded candidates in a limited number of single-seat districts.

The 13 prefectures hosting nuclear power plants are Aomori, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki, Niigata, Shizuoka, Ishikawa, Fukui, Shimane, Ehime, Saga and Kagoshima prefectures, and Hokkaido.

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