Japanese voters look likely to hand victory to a party that favors nuclear power in the first election since the March 2011 Fukushima radiation disaster - a result a baffled Greenpeace activist likens to one of the "wonders of the world".
But even if the main opposition Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) wins the December 16 election, it will not reflect any groundswell of popular support for nuclear power.
Instead, it would underline a lack of credible anti-nuclear political standard bearers in Japan and the ability of the LDP to focus the debate on security matters and the stalled economy.
An LDP win would also signal successful lobbying by Japan's "nuclear village", a web of vested interests including utilities, bureaucrats and lawmakers that remains powerful despite the world's worst radiation crisis in a quarter century.
"This is the first election since the Fukushima nuclear disaster and if it does not result in an anti-nuclear government, that will be one of the wonders of the world," said Kazue Suzuki, a campaigner at environmental group Greenpeace. "Since Fukushima, Germany rejected nuclear power and Italy rejected nuclear power. If Japan can't, the world will be amazed."