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Japan PM's ruling party poised to win big in snap elections, polls say

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Japan PM's ruling party poised to win big in snap elections, polls say

Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's ruling Liberal Democratic Party is poised to secure more than half of the 465 seats in Japan's lower house, The Wall Street Journal reported Oct. 12, citing five recent polls by major Japanese news outlets published ahead of the Oct. 22 snap elections.

Polls by Kyodo News and the Nikkei, Yomiuri, Asahi and Sankei newspapers forecast that Abe's LDP and a smaller coalition ally, Komeito, would win close to 300 seats. Several also said the coalition forces might even win two-thirds of the seats, the level needed to pass proposed revisions to the constitution in the chamber, the Journal reported.

The poll results also confirmed earlier market expectations of an Abe win and "should provide a tailwind for risk-taking in the financial markets," the Journal said, citing a note to investors by analysts at SMBC Nikko Securities.

A strong showing by Abe's party would boost his chances of winning a third term as LDP leader from next September, Reuters reported Oct. 11.

Meanwhile, Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike's newly founded Party of Hope is projected to win fewer than 100 seats, which could make it the second-largest force in the lower house after Abe's LDP.