This country makes it really hard to do that sort of pinpoint-accurate polling that people back in America try.
I was reading Shisaku, which is Michael Cucek’s blog (see my links). Of all the expats, I think he does the best job of trying to nail down what possible scenarios might be tomorrow.
But the data he’s found to work with just isn’t clear. For example, one poll asking about party preferences doesn’t add up to 100% (more like 109% or 113%).
I tried to figure out why the polling doesn’t really seem to give any clear indication of where people stand here. I came to conclude it was because there must a category between “don’t have an opinon” and “here’s my opinion”, which is “yes I have an opinion but no, I’m not saying who I’m for”. In Japan, this is the sought-to-be-avoided “empty box” on the form of the grunt taking the information. I think the news agencies just finesse this point: that they can only really report numbers on people who say they haven’t decided, and those who express a preference.
I did a little Excel sheet on that one, but I don’t have the motivation to stick in here. I did do one of those d’Hondt projected seat distributions off my results, which you can see here.
So I’m actually giving the DPJ 20 proportional seats, which is higher than the last time—even though the news agency said that support for DPJ went down. I think it’s because of all the minor parties there, and the fact that some people probably don’t say they are for the minor parties, like the Communists, but then turn out for them on election day.
Will it be a good day for the DPJ? I still think they will come up short. But I don’t see why the voting public is going to stay home on account of them, and yet come out for the other parties.
The Japan Times had a website headline piece about the fact that two DPJ candidates are running in Shizuoka for two
proportional district-based seats, which they say means can actually cause both to lose. I guess if the voting goes:
DPJ 1: 20%
DPJ 2: 21%
Your Party: 22%
Other parties: balance of remainder
DPJ heavyweight Ozawa is being blamed for this election strategy. But I think he’s blaming Kan for mentioning the consumption tax. Success has a thousand mothers, but failure is an orphan.
[Update: I see Shisaku is calling for 58 DPJ seats (39 district and 19 proportional). Nejibana, another website in my links, has DPJ at 52.
My guess is at least 50 total. I honestly know nothing about the district seats outside of Tokyo, and even here very little. Shisaku may be very right that the districts will more likely swing to the DPJ. “Off year” election voting, which is what the upper house one seems like, are really an older person’s affair. I think the older people in this country gave up on the LDP, and many of them need the better social policies being espoused by DPJ—even those who are fairly well off but wonder when they will see grandchildren.]