November 29, 2012 / 3:39 AM / in 5 years

Japan opposition LDP remains election favorite: poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) held on to its comfortable lead ahead of the December 16 general election, an opinion poll by the Nikkei daily showed on Thursday, with the hawkish Japan Restoration Party firmly in second place ahead of the ruling Democratic Party.

The survey gave 23 percent support in the election for the lower house of parliament to the LDP, which is calling for aggressive monetary steps to end deflation.

The newly-formed Japan Restoration Party, led by 80-year-old nationalist former governor of Tokyo Shintaro Ishihara and Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto, scored 15 percent, its best showing in a poll to date.

The Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) of Prime Minister Yoshohiko Noda, lay third with 13 percent.

The results were generally in line with polls by other media, suggesting the election was likely to usher in a period of confusing coalition politics. Whichever party wins is likely to have to seek out a coalition partner and will also lack a majority in parliament’s upper house, which can block bills.

Reporting by Antoni Slodkowski

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