TOKYO, May 20 (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his Liberal Democratic Party are riding high in public opinion polls, ahead of an upper house election expected in July, on hopes that his expansionary policy will jolt the Japanese economy out of deflation.
The LDP and its partner, the New Komeito, are currently expected to win that election, and attention is focused on whether they can gain a two-thirds 'super-majority' in the upper house and solidify their grip on power. The parties already hold two-thirds of the seats in the more powerful lower house.
The election will also test whether the opposition Democrartic Party of Japan (DPJ) and the Japan Restoration Party can offer viable alternatives to the ruling coalition.
The DPJ has been unable to regain support after a crushing defeat in the December election that propelled Abe to power, while support for the right-wing Restoration Party has dropped after its leader said Japan's system of military brothels during World War Two was 'necessary'.
Following is a table of media polls tracking what percentage of people plan to vote for each party in the upcoming election:
POLL DATE LDP KOMEITO DPJ RESTORATION Asahi May 20 49 6 8 7 Mainichi May 20 41 4 6 5 Yomiuri May 13 47 N/A 8 8
(Reporting by Tokyo Newsroom; Editing by Michael Perry) Keywords: JAPAN POLITICS/ELECTION
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