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DPJ eyes 300-seat takeover in Sundayís election

Date Posted: 2009-08-27

Only four years after a solid election victory, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party appears to be on the verge of total collapse as the Democratic Party of Japan seems ready to capture 300 seats in Sundayís Lower House election.

All 480 seats in the powerful House are up for grabs Sunday, and it appears now the DPJ is ready to crush the party and take a commanding 300 seats, exactly as the LDP did in 2005. The election comes on the heels of the Prime Ministerís decision to dissolve the Lower House on July 21st, putting the massive election machinery into play. A total of 1,374 candidates are vying for the 480 seats.

Some 1,139 politicians are seeking victories in the 300 single-seat constituencies, while another 888 are looking for a win in the 280 proportional representation seats in play in 11 regional blocks. A total of 326 LDP candidates are on Sundayís ballot, while the DPJ is putting more candidates on the line, 330, for the first time ever. With 330 candidates, political analysts are predicting 300 will win seats.

Current estimates are that the DPJ will pick up a record 90 of the proportional representation blocks, far more than the77 the LDP scored in the 2005 election. In the single-seat system constituencies, surveys are predicting the DPJ will tally 190 victories, and perhaps even be close in another 50 locations.

Only the main opposition DPJ seems set for major victories on Sunday. In addition to the smashing blows being dealt to the LDP, it seems now that New Komeito, the LDPís junior coalition partner, is on the ropes as well and could lose many of its 31 seats held in the last session. Thatís not all; the rest of the opposition, including the Japanese Communist and Social Democratic Parties, and also the Kokumin Shinto, the Peopleís New Party, arenít faring well.

The Liberal Democratic Party, after decades in the driverís seat, now is facing the dismal prospect of picking up only 100 seats, including fewer than 80 in the single-seat election districts.

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