Japan's LDP, partner on track for big election win: surveys

Tue Dec 11, 2012 12:59am EST
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By Kaori Kaneko and Antoni Slodkowski

TOKYO/TAKATSUKI (Reuters) - Conservative former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and its smaller ally are heading for a resounding victory in Sunday's election, winning more than 300 seats in parliament's 480-member lower house, media surveys showed on Tuesday.

Abe, 58, who resigned abruptly as premier in 2007 after a troubled year in office, is pushing the Bank of Japan (BOJ) for more powerful monetary stimulus and promises to boost public works to rev up a stagnant economy.

Abe, the grandson of a wartime cabinet minister who became prime minister after World War Two, also favors a tough stance against China in a territorial row and loosening the limits of Japan's 65-year-old pacifist constitution on the military.

Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda's Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which surged to power in 2009 for the first time, could get fewer than 80 seats at the election, the papers said.

The conservative Sankei, whose poll was based on a smaller sample, said an LDP-New Komeito party coalition could even win the two-thirds majority needed to over-ride the upper house, where no party has a majority and which can block legislation.

That could potentially break the political deadlock that has plagued successive governments since 2007. But the paper warned that almost 40 percent of those surveyed had not decided how to vote.


Many voters have become disillusioned with the ruling Democrats who promised to break the "iron triangle" of cozy ties between big business, bureaucrats and lawmakers, nurtured during the LDP's nearly unbroken half a century rule.   Continued...