Japan votes for lower house; Abe’s party seen headed for win

October 22, 2017

In this Oct. 18, 2017, photo, Japan's Prime Minister and President of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party Shinzo Abe delivers a speech in support for his party's candidate during an election campaign for the upcoming lower house election in Tokyo. Media polls indicate Abe’s ruling coalition will handily win a general election Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, possibly even retaining its two-thirds majority in the more powerful lower house of parliament. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

TOKYO (AP) — Japanese are voting in a general election that will most likely hand Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s ruling coalition a majority in parliament.

Up for grabs Sunday are 465 seats in the more powerful lower house, which chooses the prime minister. Abe dissolved the chamber less than a month ago, apparently judging that the political environment turned in his favor.

Media polls have indicated voters see Abe’s government, despite recent scandals including his own, as a safer choice over an opposition with uncertain track records.

Scare over North Korea’s missile and nuclear development is also seen prompting their conservative choice.

An election victory would boost Abe’s chances for another three-year term as head of his Liberal Democratic Party next September, extending his premiership.

Update hourly