1946 Japanese general election

General elections were held in Japan on 10 April 1946, the first after World War II. Voters had one, two or three votes, depending on how many MPs were elected from their constituency. The result was a victory for the Liberal Party, which won 141 of the 468 seats.[1] Voter turnout was 72.1 percent.

1946 Japanese general election

← 1942 10 April 1946 1947 →

All 468 seats in the House of Representatives
235 seats needed for a majority
Turnout72.08%
  First party Second party Third party
  52 HatoyamaI.jpg Chuji machida.jpg Tetsu Katayama.jpg
Leader Ichirō Hatoyama Chūji Machida Tetsu Katayama
Party Liberal Progressive Socialist
Seats won 141 94 93
Popular vote 13,505,746 10,350,530 9,924,930
Percentage 24.36% 18.67% 17.90%

  Fourth party Fifth party
  TOKUDA Kyuichi.jpg Yamamoto Sanehiko.jpg
Leader Kyuichi Tokuda Sanehiko Yamamoto
Party Communist Cooperative
Seats won 5 14
Popular vote 2,135,757 1,799,764
Percentage 3.85% 3.25%

1946 JAPAN GENERAL ELECTION, combined vote share.svg

Prime Minister before election

Kijūrō Shidehara
Nonpartisan

Prime Minister after election

Shigeru Yoshida
Liberal

BackgroundEdit

Prime Minister Kijūrō Shidehara, who had been appointed by the Emperor in October 1945, dissolved the House of Representatives in December 1945. Shidehara had been working with Allied occupation commander Douglas MacArthur to implement a new constitution and other political reforms.

In the months following the war, the Imperial Rule Assistance Association caucus broke up and three major political parties emerged in the Diet, loosely based around the major parties that stood in the 1937 election prior to the war. The Liberal Party was mainly composed of former Rikken Seiyūkai members, while the Progressive Party was mainly composed of former Rikken Minseitō members and the Socialist Party was mainly composed of former Shakai Taishūtō members.

This was the first time Japanese women were allowed to vote. 39 women were elected to office, the largest number elected until the 2005 elections. On the other hand, Taiwanese and Koreans in Japan had their rights to vote and to run for office suspended.

Following the election, there was a brief attempt to keep the Shidehara cabinet alive by having Shidehara join the Progressive Party, which the other major parties opposed. The Liberals and Progressives agreed to form a government under Liberal leader Ichiro Hatoyama on 2 May, but Hatoyama was promptly purged on 4 May and a new government formed under Foreign Minister Shigeru Yoshida, who officially became Prime Minister on 22 May.

ResultsEdit

 
PartyVotes%Seats
Liberal Party13,505,74624.36141
Japan Progressive Party10,350,53018.6794
Japan Socialist Party9,924,93017.9093
Japanese Communist Party2,135,7573.855
Japan Cooperative Party1,799,7643.2514
Other parties6,488,03211.7038
Independents11,244,12020.2881
Vacant2
Total55,448,879100.00468
Valid votes26,100,17598.19
Invalid/blank votes482,0001.81
Total votes26,582,175100.00
Registered voters/turnout36,878,41772.08
Source: Oscarsson, Nohlen et al.

By prefectureEdit

Prefecture Total
seats
Seats won
Liberal Progressive Socialist Communist Cooperative Others Ind. Vacant
Aichi 18 4 5 3 2 4
Akita 8 1 1 3 2 1
Aomori 7 2 3 1 1
Chiba 13 6 2 1 1 3
Ehime 9 2 4 2 1
Fukui 5 1 1 2 1
Fukuoka 18 2 5 8 3
Fukushima 13 4 7 2
Gifu 10 5 2 1 2
Gunma 10 1 5 3 1
Hiroshima 12 3 1 3 2 3
Hokkaido 23 6 4 1 7 3 2
Hyōgo 18 5 7 4 1 1
Ibaraki 13 4 5 1 3
Ishikawa 6 3 1 2
Iwate 8 4 2 2
Kagawa 6 3 2 1
Kagoshima 11 1 2 1 2 3 2
Kanagawa 12 6 4 1 1
Kōchi 5 2 1 2
Kumamoto 10 4 2 1 3
Kyoto 10 3 1 3 3
Mie 9 1 4 1 1 2
Miyagi 9 3 1 1 3 1
Miyazaki 6 4 2
Nagano 14 2 1 3 1 1 1 5
Nagasaki 8 5 1 1 1
Nara 5 1 1 1 2
Niigata 15 5 5 4 1
Ōita 7 2 2 2 1
Okayama 10 3 2 2 3
Okinawa 2 2
Osaka 18 3 4 5 1 3 2
Saga 5 2 2 1
Saitama 13 8 2 2 1
Shiga 6 3 2 1
Shimane 6 1 2 2 1
Shizuoka 14 7 3 1 1 2
Tochigi 10 2 4 2 1 1
Tokushima 5 5
Tokyo 22 7 1 9 2 2 1
Tottori 4 1 1 2
Toyama 6 1 2 2 1
Wakayama 6 3 1 2
Yamagata 9 3 1 1 1 3
Yamaguchi 9 4 1 1 3
Yamanashi 5 1 1 2 1
Total 468 140 94 92 5 14 38 81 4

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Dieter Nohlen, Florian Grotz & Christof Hartmann (2001) Elections in Asia: A data handbook, Volume II, p381 ISBN 0-19-924959-8