Japanese general election, 1996
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All 500 seats to the House of Representatives of Japan
251 seats needed for a majority
A general election took place in Japan on October 20, 1996. Incumbent Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto of the coalition of the Liberal Democratic Party, New Party Sakigake and the Social Democratic Party won the election.
This is the first election under new elections rules established in 1993 with single non-transferable vote, single-member districts, and some seats being distributed according to proportional representation. Before this election, each district was represented by multiple members, sometimes from the same party, causing intra-party competition. Under the new rules, each district has only one representative now representing a wide range of interests for his or her district. A separate party-list was introduced for voters to choose their favored party (in addition to votes for individual candidates) as a way to more accurately approximate the seats in the House of Representatives of Japan to the actual party votes in an effort to achieve more proportional representation.
With only a single member in each district, this change allows for more district-wide benefits. This is opposed to the old multi-member districts where each representative appeals to either policy or geographic-based benefits to narrow interests in their constituencies, who in turn help their member's campaign in their reelection efforts.
The coalition government won a narrow majority in the election. The Social Democratic Party and the New Party Sakigake lost most of its seats in the House of Representatives due to the formation of coalition with the LDP. The turnout of the election was 59.65%.
|Alliances and parties||Local constituency vote||PR block vote||Total seats||+/−|
|Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)||21,836,096||38.63%||169||18,205,955||32.76%||70||239||28|
|Social Democratic Party (SDP)||1,240,649||2.19%||4||3,547,240||6.38%||11||15||15|
|New Party Harbinger (NPH)||727,644||1.29%||2||582,093||1.05%||0||2||7|
|New Frontier Party (NFP)||15,812,326||27.97%||96||15,580,053||28.04%||60||156||4|
|Democratic Party (DPJ)||6,001,666||10.62%||17||8,949,190||16.10%||35||52||0|
|Japan Communist Party (JCP)||7,096,766||12.55%||2||7,268,743||13.08%||24||26||11|
|Democratic Reform League||149,357||0.26%||1||18,884||0.03%||0||1||1|
(electoral reform: -11
18 vacant seats)
|Liberal Democrat||169||70||239 (211)|
|New Frontiers||96||60||156 (160)|
|Japanese Communist||2||24||26 (15)|
|Social Democrat||4||11||15 (30)|
|New Party Sakigake||2||0||2 (9)|
|Democratic Reformers||1||0||1 (2)|
Numbers in parentheses indicate seats held before the election.
- 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
- Inter Parliamentary Union
- Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications
- Fractional votes rounded to full numbers
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