The LDP's Historic Comeback in the 2012 Japanese Election
Daniel M. Smith, Shorenstein Postdoctoral Fellow, Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University
RSVP Required by 5PM June 4
On December 16, 2012, Japan’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which was swept from power in 2009 by the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) after more than half a century of dominance, roared back with a landslide of its own. Entering the election with only 118 of 480 seats in the House of Representatives, the lower house of the National Diet, the LDP emerged with a whopping 294 seats, more than a third of them captured by first-time candidates. Moreover, the LDP and its long-time coalition partner, the Komeito, jointly surpassed the two-thirds threshold needed to override vetoes from the upper house, the House of Councillors, where the coalition lacks a majority—at least until the upper house election this July. The incumbent DPJ, which had taken power with an even more impressive 308 seats in 2009, retained just 57 seats this time, barely managing second place after three difficult years in government. How did the LDP do it? In this presentation, Smith will highlight the key findings of two chapters on the LDP’s candidate selection and election results from the forthcoming volume, Japan Decides 2012 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), edited by Robert Pekkanen, Steven R. Reed, and Ethan Scheiner.