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Japanese Parliamentary Lower House Results

by: Setsuna

Mon Dec 17, 2012 at 13:10:05 PM EST

If unfamiliar with Japanese politics, please consult my Japan 2012 House of Representatives Preview.
Setsuna :: Japanese Parliamentary Lower House Results
Liberal Democratic Party (LDP):

District vote: 43.01% (+4.33%)
Proportional Block vote: 27.79% (+1.06%)
Seats: 294 (+176)

New Komeito (NKP):

District vote: 1.49% (+0.38%)
Proportional Block vote: 11.9% (+0.45%)
Seats: 31 (+10)

Total LDP-NKP:

District vote: 44.49% (+4.65%)
Proportional Block vote: 39.69% (+1.43%)
Seats: 325 (+185)

Despite only a 4+% swing in their favor, the LDP went from 64 district seats to 237. This is a function of the divided opposition, but also of an effective and longstanding LDP gerrymander, which has resulted in gross malapportionment over time. (The most populous district has more than 10 times the population of the least populous.)

Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ):

District vote: 22.81% (-24.62%)
Proportional Block vote: 15.49% (-26.92%)
Seats: 57 (-173)

People's New Party (PNP):

District vote: 0.20% (-0.84%)
Proportional Block vote: 0.12% (-1.61%)
Seats: 1 (-2)

Total DPJ-PNP:

District vote: 23.01% (-25.46%)
Proportional Block vote: 15.61% (-28.53%)
Seats: 58 (-175)

The DPJ was badly punished for their tenure. Rather than overperform, as we've seen unpopular governments do in Europe in recent years, they apparently received a much smaller portion of undecideds than the LDP or JRP.

Japan Restoration Party (JRP):

District vote: 11.64% (new party)
Proportional Block vote: 20.50% (new party)
Seats: 54 (+43)

Although the JRP came in a clear second in terms of the proportional vote, they were annihilated in the district vote, and failed to overtake the DPJ as the second largest party. The JRP tended to poll third in the proportional vote however, so this can be considered something of a pyrrhic victory for them.

Your Party (YP):

District vote: 4.71% (+3.84%)
Proportional Block vote: 8.77% (+4.5%)
Seats: 18 (+10)

After the LDP, YP is unquestionably the second biggest winner of this election. The party has benefited from the natural benefits of being perpetually in opposition, as well as from their perceived distance and refusal to compromise with other parties. Their vote is indicative of both Japan's turn right in this election, and voters exasperation with traditional parties and politicians.

Tomorrow Party of Japan (TPJ)*:

District vote: 5.02% (new party)
Proportional Block vote: 5.72% (new party)
Seats: 9 (-52)

*The Tomorrow Party of Japan is the party referred to in my preview as the Japan Future Party (JFP.) Since the publishing of that preview, the party has officially requested its name be translated into english as the Tomorrow Party and I will abide by that request.

The jury is still out on this result. The Tomorrow Party of Japan performed about in line with expectations; unfortunately for them, expectations weren't very high. The party survived, not quite irrelevant, but failing to break into the upper-tier of parties. Little has changed for Ozawa and friends, with their new party straddling the line between relevancy and irrelevancy, much as the TPJ and Ozawa's faction have been for some time.

Japanese Communist Party (JCP):

District vote: 7.88% (+3.66%)
Proportional Block vote: 6.17% (-0.86%)
Seats: 8 (-1)

Like the JRP, the JCP failed in the tangible goals, but there's good news for the party reading between the lines. The party saw a strong increase in district results, despite running fewer district candidates than in '09. The party suffered slightly in the proportional vote at the hands of the plethora of new parties contesting, but held up considerably better than the SDP and other archaic leftist parties. Overall, the party received many more overall votes than in the 2009 election.

Nonetheless, internal strategic reforms are needed in the party. The JCP insists, on principle, on spending all of its money paying monetary deposits to run as many candidates as possible. This is a huge, unnecessary drain on the party's resources (no party files more candidates than they have to; the DPJ, for example, didn't even pay to have a candidate in enough districts to hypothetically be able to win a majority, after it became clear they weren't going to get one.) If the party was willing to re-prioritize its resources to focus on winnable constituencies (as the Canadian Greens are demonstrating), they could have potentially captured as many seats as Your Party.

Social Democratic Party (SDP):

District vote: 0.76% (-1.19%)
Proportional Block vote: 2.38% (-1.89%)
Seats: 2 (-3)

The environmentalist SDP suffered particularly harshly with the rise the TPJ. In an election where voters looked to new parties and leaders, the SDP was the old guard to the current old guard. They were left behind.

New Party Nippon (NPN):

District vote: 0.53% (+0.22%)
Proportional Block vote: 0.58% (-0.17%)
Seats: 1 (-2)

NPN is one of the tiny "postal reform rebel" parties formed by former LDP MPs during Koizumi's tenure. They were briefly in government with the DPJ after the '09 election. NPN leader Yasuo Tanaka unexpectedly clung to his district seat.

Miscellaneous Independents:

District vote: 1.69% (-1.12%)
Proportional Block vote: no Proportional Block vote
Seats: 5 (-4)
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... and it turned into a diary anyways.

Democrat & Socialist. Socially liberal but culturally conservative. I'm ready for Hillary!

One semantic comment, as I've seen a lot of people get this mixed up:
Gerrymander = twisted shapes.
Malapportionment = wildly differing district populations.

R - MD-7

Thank you. ^_^
I've fixed that sentence.

Democrat & Socialist. Socially liberal but culturally conservative. I'm ready for Hillary!

[ Parent ]
How big is the average district in the lower house?

29, Republican, PA-6

I don't know.

Democrat & Socialist. Socially liberal but culturally conservative. I'm ready for Hillary!

[ Parent ]
I did some back of the hand math and the average population should be something like 300K.

Democrat & Socialist. Socially liberal but culturally conservative. I'm ready for Hillary!

[ Parent ]

26, Male, R, NY-10

Scott Walker for President!

[ Parent ]
Nice work once again.
I was hoping you'd diary the results. It'll be interesting to see how the LDP does with Abe at the helm again; IIRC he actually isn't that popular within the party. It will also be interesting to see if the RPJ and YP can avoid the problems of many new parties with a flood of new MPs.  

male, social, fiscal and foreign policy center-right Republican, in but not of academia, VA-08.

MPs changing party
Incumbent MPs need the consent of the party they're leaving and the party they're joining to change parties.

Hashimoto has done well in keeping the party from being hijacked; naturally, back when JRP was in first place in the polls (for much of March to July this year) hundreds of MPs expressed interest in joining, but Hashimoto only accepted a small handful with conservative and maverick records, and only after he'd personally interviewed them.

YP doesn't have these worries, since, like the JCP, YP never compromises or works with other parties, so none of the opportunists want to join (since in the party they'd not only never be in government but would be effectively as powerless as if they weren't MPs in the first place.) They remain effectively a protest vote in any case. They're hardly on the verge of being a national party.

Democrat & Socialist. Socially liberal but culturally conservative. I'm ready for Hillary!

[ Parent ]
(I thought it would be best to divide this into two comments. I hope no one minds. ^_^)

Abe is not popular with most anyone outside of the Diet, and polled only slightly ahead of Noda and Ishihara in "who would be the better Prime Minister?" questions. During the LDP leadership selection process, rank and file members were given a vote -- and voted for a different candidate, Ishiba Shigeru. Party leadership subsequently ignored them and picked Abe.

(Admittedly, the LDP and DPJ are pretty much Diet members clubs anyways. As I mentioned in the preview, many smaller parties have many more members elected to local prefectural and municipal assemblies. So it's not like a non-ideological shell party like the LDP has a huge base of activists to be upset about that.)

Democrat & Socialist. Socially liberal but culturally conservative. I'm ready for Hillary!

[ Parent ]

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