NHK has called all but three seats, with the opposition parties currently holding sixty-five, one more than the sixty-four needed for a majority. With no DPJ candidates in contention for the remaining three, it’s safe to conclude that the DPJ will finish the night with fifty-four seats, up twenty, making it the assembly’s largest party. Komeitō came into the election with twenty-two seats, and may even gain one. The JCP came in with thirteen and will return either seven or eight. The LDP’s loss may be as little as nine seats, but those are a huge nine seats.
A couple things of note:
- Despite fears that Komeitō may struggle to get its voters out due to the government’s unpopularity, they still turned out for Komeitō candidates. On a bad night, this result is good news for the coalition. Or not: just because they came out for Komeitō candidates does not mean that they will show up for LDP candidates in the general election (or that they showed up this time).
- Communist boom? Not in Tokyo. Perhaps this result augurs well for the DPJ, which gained as much at the expense of other opposition parties as it did at the expense of the LDP.