July 19, 2009 / 9:13 AM / 9 years ago

Japan opposition widens lead vs LDP in Kyodo poll

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan’s main opposition Democratic Party widened its lead over the ruling Liberal Democratic Party in a poll released by Kyodo News on Sunday, two days before Prime Minister Taro Aso is expected to dissolve the Lower House for an August 30 election.

The poll showed 36.2 percent of respondents saying they would vote for the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), more than twice the 15.6 percent saying they would back the LDP, Kyodo said.

Two weeks ago, a Kyodo poll showed the opposition DPJ leading the long-ruling LDP by 34.3 percent to 26.3 percent.

The latest survey follows a week of chaos within the LDP as Aso announced plans for an August 30 general election on Monday, just a day after the party was trounced by the DPJ in a Tokyo assembly election.

An LDP defeat would end more than 50 years of almost unbroken rule by the business-friendly party and improve the chances of resolving a policy deadlock caused by a divided parliament.

The LDP’s fading fortunes have fueled moves to oust Aso before the election, with a handful of LDP rebels presenting a petition for a formal meeting of parliamentarians to press their views.

But their plans were complicated after some lawmakers whose names were on the petition later said they had never signed, while others said they would retract their signatures if the gathering was used to ditch Aso.

Reporting by Chang-Ran Kim; Editing by Alex Richardson

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