The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) candidates in the Shizuoka and Yamaguchi by-elections for the House of Councillors were both defeated in the by-elections held on March 24, following the resignation of LDP members. “The victory was a big boost for the opposition parties, which are fighting together for a “change of government.
With the general election just a week away, this supplementary election was of great importance to all parties. The LDP took Yamaguchi, but “unexpectedly” lost Shizuoka. This sent shockwaves through the party.
“The LDP was able to capture Yamaguchi, but lost Shizuoka. I want to solemnly accept the judgment of the people of Shizuoka Prefecture.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who visited Shizuoka twice during the election, could not hide the shock of defeat from his face. It seems that he has finally lost his poker face. On the night of the 24th, when the results were announced, Toshiaki Endo, the chairman of the election committee, said, “We will take the results into consideration.
“We will take the results very seriously. We will join forces with those who are fighting the last-minute Lower House election, and we will fight in unison with President Fumio Kishida at the center.
Normally, the chairman of the election committee would be in a position to analyze and reflect on the causes of the defeat, but now that he has lost the supplementary election, he cannot afford to be remorseful. “It sounds like he is on the verge of saying, “We have no choice but to go ahead with the general election by force.
The signs may have changed, but the substance is the same
“Both constituencies were originally supplementary elections following the resignation of LDP lawmakers, so they could not afford to lose. In Shizuoka Prefecture, the LDP held seats in six of the eight constituencies, so it should have been able to push through. But they lost in a huge upset. … The moment the results came in, I couldn’t believe it. When the results came in, I couldn’t understand what had happened and was at a loss for words.
In a telephone interview, a leading LDP delegate who was supporting the Kishida administration in a local election district expressed his concern about the Kishida administration.
“The current atmosphere is very similar to that of this summer’s Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, in which the LDP lost badly. Many voters seem to have the impression that although the LDP has moved from the Kan administration to the Kishida administration, the essence of the party has not changed at all from the Abe/San administrations.
Many voters seem to have this impression. The LDP supporters are not moving fast enough.
On the other hand, I also sense a hesitation among voters to give up on the Rikken, the Communist Party, the Social Democratic Party, and the Reika Union. Although there is distrust and uneasiness about the suspicions of the previous administration and the overly conservative ideology of the LDP, there is also uneasiness about the Rikken DPJ, which has decided to form an opposition coalition in order to seriously take power. I think the voters have lost sight of who they are voting for.”
The delegate also said that votes that have nowhere else to go are flowing to the Restoration Party and becoming passive supporters for the Liberal Democratic Party, and as a result, the Liberal Democratic Party’s vote may be sluggish.
Common sense has been overturned and the “feelings” of the voters cannot be read.
A week ago, the LDP conducted a large-scale poll with a sample size of over 3,000 people specifically for the Shizuoka supplementary election. In this survey, support for LDP-approved Wakabayashi was in the 44th percentile, while support for Yamazaki, who was nominated by the Rikken/Kokumin, was in the 38th percentile, giving the LDP “Wakabayashi” a lead of nearly 6 points. However, the majority of voters chose Yamazaki.
The LDP has lost every single election held in the past year, including three consecutive defeats in supplementary elections under the Kan administration, the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly election, and the Yokohama mayoral election. The polls conducted by the political parties and the media prior to the elections have been completely unreliable. There seems to be a huge gap between voters and politics, and the “common sense” and “set rules” of the past no longer apply.
A member of a group that supports the Liberal Democratic Party said, “The new corona has made it difficult for voters to vote.
“The new Corona has changed the way voters look at politics. The movements of various support groups have also changed. For example, the medical association, which took the brunt of the corona countermeasures, is not a monolithic organization because the upper management and younger members do not agree with each other. Among the agricultural cooperatives, some groups have expressed their support for the opposition. This may be partly a reaction to the push for reform of the agricultural cooperatives by former Environment Minister Shinjiro Koizumi when he was chairman of the party’s Agriculture and Forestry Committee.
As a result of these major changes in support and friendship groups, the vote-getting machine is no longer functioning, and the LDP is not getting as many votes as it had hoped.
What is the “truth” that the public is seeing?
But that’s not the only reason,” said a member of a religious group.
But that’s not the only reason,” said a member of a religious group. “The LDP has been pushing the Kishida administration against public opinion, which wanted the Kono Taro administration. The LDP has imposed the Kishida administration against public opinion that wanted a Taro Kono administration. In addition, Kenichi Kawamura, the eldest son of retired former Chief Cabinet Secretary Takeo Kawamura, is not running for office in Yamaguchi but as a proportional candidate in the North Kanto bloc. 32nd These two examples are symbolic. What these two examples symbolize is the executive’s intolerance that ‘from the moment you become anti-mainstream, you are thoroughly excluded. This has come to be done overtly. In the past, the LDP allowed a wide range of open discussion within the party, both to the right and to the left, but this is not the case now. I think that voters are beginning to dislike such a bleak LDP.
“Kishida was very clear in his campaign for the presidency. Prime Minister Kishida’s campaign pledge to “double the income of the Japanese people” was not even included in his campaign pledge. Will the people think that the LDP has changed, or will they demand a change in the ruling party? There are only four days left until the vote.
Reporting and writing by： Shutaro Iwashiro