Sunday, October 29, 2017

Looking at the results #jpnvotes17 part 2

Looking at the results: the fallout

Koike returned from Paris, and obviously disappointed with the result, indicated that her comments about 'excluding' former Democrats may have hurt her chances. She appeared briefly at the end of a meeting of members of the party, wishing them well. She will turn her energies back to the Governorship. It is a setback but not the end for Koike's ambitions.

The independent ex-Dems have opted to form their own faction within parliament for now rather than merge with existing entities Kibo and RikkenDs; this is probably not a great decision as it continues to split the opposition. Yamao, who had to resign from the old Dems prior to the election over media-generated adultery rumours, and who subsequently stood as an independent in her electorate, has joined the RikkenDs, giving them an additional seat. There may be others who do the same. 

The JCP seem to have been quite magnanimous in their defeat. They acknowledge they lost seats to the RikkenDs, but as part of their broader strategy of cooperation in opposition to defeat the LDP-led government, they were content with the result. They vow to continue the cooperation strategy.

Disgruntled Komei voters have admitted to voting for RikkenDs because they are losing faith in the Komei siding with the LDP; this is a big split (and explains the loss of Komei seats). In particular, the issues important to the Komei core include peace and maintaining the constitution, especially article 9. There appears to be some disappoinment too over the 'fair weather friend' approach by the Komei leadership to back Koike's Tokyo government but remain aligned with the LDP at the national level. 

During the week, Koike's righthand man, Wakasa resigned, having lost the election and saying it is time for younger people and women to come through the ranks. 
Wakasu speaking at Koike's Governor rally 2016

He is just 60 (relatively young for Japanese politics) and it is interesting to see how Koike will receive the news. It is a blow and perhaps a lack of confidence in Kibo's future directions. He has announced he is going cycling...I'm not sure if that is what he is actually doing, or whether it is a euphemism...

I am now preparing a longer paper on this election, an analysis which seeks to examine the characteristics of the party and electoral system which can apparently bring a 'landslide' victory for the incumbents while exit polls and trends  in opinion polls are consistent in the electorate's distrust, dislike and concern over Abe's prime ministership. It is more specifically about Abe than the LDP I think, a different leader might produce different results. 

I am also going against the popular analysis and reject the notion of a 'landslide' win for Abe this time. The figures don't stack up. The LDP-Komei coalition ended up with the same number of seats as prior to the election and taking into account the decrease in electorates (475 to 465) this time and the fact that Komei lost seats (34 to 29) suggests a status quo, rather than a landslide. I would contend too that the relative success of the RikkenDs suggests a desire on the part of the Japanese electors to once again seek a less right-wing it the system at fault. 

Much analysis to come, psephologically-speaking...