ANALYSIS: 3rd force candidates didn't have a chance against LDP

December 17, 2012

THE ASAHI SHIMBUN

In two-thirds of the 300 single-seat constituencies, candidates of so-called third force parties ran against the two major parties--and nearly always lost--which helped propel the Liberal Democratic Party to victory in the Dec. 16 Lower House election.

In 203 of those constituencies, at least one of the three third force parties--the Japan Restoration Party, Your Party and the Tomorrow Party of Japan--was up against the LDP and the Democratic Party of Japan.

In an additional five districts, the third force parties ran against New Komeito or independents supported by the LDP as well as the People’s New Party, the DPJ's ally.

The LDP’s winning rate rose when the number of third force candidates increased.

The party won in all 12 constituencies where all three third force parties, as well as the DPJ, fielded candidates.

It seized 62 seats, or 90 percent of the 69 districts where candidates from two third force parties and the DPJ ran.

The LDP, New Komeito or independents supported by the LDP gained a combined 97 seats, or 76 percent of the 127 districts where one third force candidate and another from the DPJ or the PNP ran.

In the 12 constituencies where five parties competed, the third force parties failed to win a seat.

The third force parties garnered three seats in the 69 districts of four-way competition and 12 seats in the 127 districts of three-way competition.

In the combined 208 constituencies, many DPJ supporters voted for a third force party, leading to the defeat of DPJ candidates, according to Asahi Shimbun exit polls.

The percentage of DPJ supporters voting for a third force party rose when the number of third force candidates increased.

In the 12 constituencies where five parties were contesting seats, 27 percent of DPJ supporters voted for one of the three third force parties while 57 percent voted for the DPJ.

In the 69 districts of four-way competition, 23 percent of DPJ supporters voted for one of the two third force parties while 60 percent voted for the DPJ.

In the 127 districts of three-way competition, 14 percent of DPJ supporters voted for the third force party, 13 percent for the LDP and 67 percent for the DPJ.

In contrast, more than 70 percent of LDP supporters voted for the LDP, regardless of the number of third force candidates.

Only 14 percent of LDP supporters voted for a third force party on average in the combined 208 constituencies.

Meanwhile, many voters who cast ballots for the DPJ in the 2009 Lower House election voted for other parties, particularly in the proportional representation portion, on Dec. 16.

Only 35 percent of people who voted for the DPJ in 2009 either in single-seat constituencies or in the proportional representation portion voted for the DPJ in single-seat constituencies, according to Asahi Shimbun exit polls.

The percentage was lower at 28 percent in the proportional representation portion.

Thirty-eight percent of DPJ supporters voted for parties other than the DPJ in the proportional representation portion.

The DPJ gained only 16 percent of votes in the proportional representation portion, the lowest in its history.

It took 42 percent in the 2009 Lower House election, which swept the party into power. Even in the 2005 election, in which the LDP won an overwhelming victory, the DPJ got 31 percent.

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