Japan ruling party lags badly in poll as election nears

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 27, 2012 9:14 PM
Japan ruling party lags badly in poll as election nears

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two and a half times more Japanese will vote for the opposition Liberal Democratic Party than for the ruling party in an upcoming election, a newspaper poll suggested on Friday, raising the prospect of Shinzo Abe again becoming prime minister.

The Nikkei business daily survey said 35 percent of those polled would vote for the LDP, compared with 14 percent for the ruling Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and 12 percent for the new Japan Restoration Party.

The poll comes ahead of a general election expected in the next few months and after the re-election of Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda as DPJ leader and Abe as the new chief of the LDP.

Former prime minister Abe took the helm of the conservative LDP as ties with China plummeted over disputed islands.

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The Democrats swept to power in 2009, pledging to change how Japan was governed after more than half a century of almost unbroken rule by the LDP.

Three years and three prime ministers later, critics say the DPJ has largely failed to deliver on pledges to cut bureaucracy.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; Editing by Nick Macfie)