And a mess it is.

Looking likely that the DPJ will end up with a final tally of somewhere in the 110-112 range. Your Party looks like it might end up with 9 seats. The LDP have already surpassed their pre-election total representation and are sure to pick up more in the single-member rural constituencies.

However, before the LDP gloats, one thing that should give them pause is that they have not really performed all that well in the proportional representation ticket. Indeed on Yamamoto Ichita’s Twitter, he suggested that the LDP should not get carried away as its numerical support is still inferior to the DPJ’s. He called for being more vigilant in regards to reform to the party given this outcome – and indeed as Tobias Harris has already suggested, the result of this election could give Tanigaki a reprieve and impede any reform in the party. More so, as Okumura Jun predicted the LDP looks to be (re)-entrenching itself in the “periphery” – those areas which are generally over-represented vis-a-vis the urban areas of Japan in terms of MPs in the Diet.

Watanabe has already come out saying that while they will not go into coalition with the DPJ, and has also suggested a Lower House election take place next year, he might be open to working on a few issues such as reform of the bureaucracy. The postal reform bill is certainly dead.

But, I also wonder, given that both the DPJ and Your Party are parties that seem to do well in urban areas, might look at some strategic electoral reform to tip the electoral math more in favour of urban voters. The Japanese Supreme Court has on many occasions ruled the difference in the “value” of rural voters’ votes when compared to urban voters’ votes, to be unconstitutional.

As borrowed from Shisaku:

Greatest voting disparity (ippyo no kakusa) between two districts = 5.01 times
in between Tottori Prefecture (487, 893 voters – 1 seat) and Kanagawa Prefecture (7,328,018 voters – 3 seats)

After all, upholding the constitution is a pretty handy way of escaping  charges of barefaced opportunism. And Yamamoto Ichita will certainly then have the reform of the party that he desires.

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