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LDP support high despite 47% against Abe continuing as prime minister: Mainichi poll

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe waves to supporters during campaigning in Kobe's Kita Ward on Oct. 14, 2017. (Mainichi)

Forty-seven percent of respondents to a Mainichi Shimbun special opinion poll answered that they would not want current Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to continue in his position following the Oct. 22 general election, while 37 percent of the pollees think he should stay on.

While the results of the poll predict Abe's Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) may win over 300 seats in the House of Representatives, it appears that this is not directly connected to the popularity of the prime minister himself.

Among supporters of Yukio Edano's Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan (CDP), 89 percent responded that they were against Abe continuing his role. That number was 80 percent for Tokyo Gov. Yuriko Koike's Party of Hope supporters and 88 percent for backers of the Japanese Communist Party (JCP) led by Kazuo Shii. Even among respondents who did not support any party in particular, 59 percent said they were against Abe staying on as prime minister, a large margin compared to the only 25 percent who supported him.

On the other hand, 76 percent of LDP and 57 percent of Komeito backers responded in favor of Abe, showing a clear gap in the results between supporters of the ruling parties and those of the opposition.

The percentage of opposition party support was high in the proportional representation blocs among those against Abe continuing as prime minister -- 26 percent said they would vote for the CDP, 20 percent for the Party of Hope and 11 percent for the JCP. In these constituencies, it is clear that anti-Abe votes are being divided among the opposition parties. However, 12 percent of those who disapprove of Abe said they would vote for the LDP in the proportional representation blocs.

On the other hand, 61 percent of respondents supporting Abe to stay on as a prime minister said they were voting for the LDP.

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