Japan’s ruling coalition is projected to maintain its majority in an upper house election held Sunday, two days after the assassination of former Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who led the bloc to numerous victories during his term as premier.
Exit polling from national broadcaster NHK and other major media said the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its junior coalition partner Komeito were projected to win at least 69 seats, well above the 56 seats they needed to retain the majority. If the two score more than 69 seats combined, they would increase their majority in the body.
Sympathy votes following Abe’s death seem to have swung the balance in some constituencies, according to Shigenobu Tamura, a former LDP staffer turned political commentator. But that didn’t appear to lead to a major surge in seats for the ruling bloc, which had been projected by the Yomiuri newspaper before the killing to take between 65-80 seats. It now appears to be on track for 69-83, according to NHK.