July 2, 2017 / 11:31 AM / 2 months ago

Japan PM's party on track for big defeat in Tokyo election: exit polls

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe stands in front of Japan's national flag after his ruling Liberal Democratic Party's (LDP) annual party convention in Tokyo, Japan, March 5, 2017.Toru Hanai

TOKYO (Reuters) - Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) was on track for a stinging defeat in an election in the Japanese capital on Sunday, exit polls showed, signaling trouble for the Japanese leader, who is suffering from slumping support because of a scandal over suspected favoritism for a friend's business.

On the surface, the Tokyo Metropolitan assembly election is a referendum on Governor Yuriko Koike's year in office, but a poor showing for Abe's party will also be taken as a rebuke of his 4-1/2-year-old administration.

Public broadcaster NHK said Koike's Tokyo Citizens First party and its allies were on track for between 73 to 85 seats in the 127-seat assembly, while the LDP was forecast to take only between 13 and 39, down from 57 before the poll and possibly its worst showing ever.

Reporting by Linda Sieg; Editing by Mark Potter

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