1980 Japanese general election

General elections were held in Japan on 22 June 1980. They were the result of a vote of no confidence brought by the Japan Socialist Party (JSP) on 16 May regarding corruption and rises in public utility charges as reasons for the House of Representatives of Japan (lower house) to withdraw its backing from the government.

1980 Japanese general election

22 June 1980

All 511 seats to the House of Representatives of Japan
256 seats needed for a majority
Turnout74.57% (6.56%)
  First party Second party Third party
 
Leader Masayoshi Ōhira[lower-alpha 1] Ichio Asukata Yoshikatsu Takeiri
Party Liberal Democratic Socialist Komeito
Last election 248 seats, 44.59% 107 seats, 19.71% 57 seats, 9.78%
Seats won 284 107 33
Seat change 36 25
Popular vote 28,262,441 11,400,747 5,329,942
Percentage 47.88% 19.31% 9.03%
Swing 3.29% 0.40% 0.74%

  Fourth party Fifth party Sixth party
 
Leader Sasaki Ryōsaku Sanzō Nosaka Yōhei Kōno
Party Democratic Socialist Communist New Liberal
Last election 35 seats, 6.78% 39 seats, 10.42% 4 seats, 3.02%
Seats won 32 29 12
Seat change 4 12 8
Popular vote 3,896,728 5,803,613 1,766,396
Percentage 6.60% 9.83% 2.99%
Swing 0.18% 0.59% 0.3%

  Seventh party
 
Leader Hideo Den
Party Socialist Democratic
Last election 2 seats, 0.68%
Seats won 3
Seat change 1
Popular vote 402,832
Percentage 0.68%
Swing

Prime Minister before election

Masayoshi Ōhira
Liberal Democratic

Prime Minister-designate

Zenkō Suzuki
Liberal Democratic

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Unexpectedly, 69 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) members of the Diet from the Fukuda Takeo, Miki Takeo and Hidenao Nakagawa factions abstained from voting on the motion. The government was defeated by 56 votes in total of 243 and resigned.

For the first time, elections for the both houses of the Diet were called in June 1980. During the election, Prime Minister Masayoshi Ōhira, the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party died during the campaign. Ōhira had expected the vote of no confidence to fail, and was visibly shaken when it passed by a margin of 243–187. Sixty-nine members of his own LDP, including Fukuda, abstained. Given the choice of resigning or calling new elections, Ōhira chose the latter and began campaigning for LDP candidates. He was hospitalized for exhaustion on 31 May and died of a massive heart attack 12 days later.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Masayoshi Ito acted in Ōhira's place as deputy after his death. In the elections of both the houses LDP gained a majority. The election results for the lower house are shown in the table below. Yoshio Sakurauchi, the Secretary General of LDP, led the LDP to its greatest victory in fifteen years, capitalizing on the "sympathy vote" generated by Ōhira's death. The Prime Minister was succeeded by Zenkō Suzuki after the election.

Election results

 Summary of the 22 June 1980 Japanese House of Representatives election results[1][2]
Parties CandidatesVotes[3]%Seats+/-
(dissolution)
   Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 31028,262,44247.88%28436
   Japanese Socialist Party (JSP) 14911,400,74719.31%1070
   Japanese Communist Party (JCP) 1295,803,6139.83%2912
   Justice Party 645,329,9429.03%3325
Democratic Socialist Party (DSP) 503,896,7286.60%324
New Liberal Club (NLC) 251,766,3962.99%128
Social Democratic Federation (SDF) 5402,8320.68%31
Center-left opposition 14411,395,89819.30%8020
  Others 42109,1680.18%00
  Independents 612,056,9673.48%117
Totals (Turnout 74.6%, incl. invalid votes) 83559,028,837100.00%5111
(vacant seat)
Vote share
LDP
47.88%
JSP
19.31%
JCP
9.83%
KP
9.03%
DSP
6.60%
NLC
2.99%
SDF
0.68%
Independents
3.48%
Others
0.18%
Parliament seats
LDP
55.58%
JSP
20.94%
KP
6.46%
DSP
6.26%
JCP
5.68%
NLC
2.35%
SDF
0.59%
Independents
2.15%

Notes

  1. Ōhira died 10 days before the election.

References

  • Mahendra Prakash (2004), Coalition Experience in Japanese Politics: 1993-2003, New Delhi: JNU.
  1. Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC), Statistics Department, Long-term statistics, chapter 27: Public servants and elections, sections 27-7 to 27-10 Elections for the House of Representatives
  2. Interparliamentary Union (IPU): 1979 and 1980 Shūgiin elections
  3. Fractional votes rounded to full numbers
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