With the exit polls suggesting that the LDP will edge out the DPJ in this election and recover some of its strength in the upper house, it is worth asking what will be the consequences of victory for the LDP.
Most obviously, LDP leader Tanigaki Sadakazu will have a new lease on his position, delaying generational change within the LDP for a bit longer.
Generally speaking, the LDP’s old guardsmen will be able to use this vote as vindication for their resistance for anything more than superficial reform to the party. If the Diet does indeed remain twisted — if the DPJ is not able to cobble together a coalition that would swing control back to the government — the LDP will be sorely tempted to use the upper house’s powers to harass the government instead of focusing on internal reform and revitalizing the party’s policies.
Of course, an electoral victory against a hobbled DPJ is by no means a vindication of the LDP’s approach. The party’s reformers may have been better off had the LDP lost.