Japan’s opposition is headed for a landslide victory according to exit polls – indicating an election win that would oust the long-ruling conservative party.
The untested Democrats, led by Yukio Hatoyama, will inherit the job of reviving a faltering economy.
Hatoyama has pledged to form a coalition with smaller allies even his party wins a majority because it needs their support in the upper house.
An early victim of a Democrat victory is likely to be Prime Minister Taro Aso. His Liberal Democratic Party said it would begin the search for a new leader in the face of what is expected to be a crushing defeat.
An exit poll by broadcaster TV Ashai showed the Democratic Party of Japan on track for a win with around 315 seats in parliament’s powerful 480 member lower house. That projection is in line with other exit polls and matches expectations in opinion polls during the campaign.
The Democrats have pledged to adopt diplomatic and security policies more independent of Japan’s closest ally, the United States.
Exit polls say landslide victory for Japan opposition