Kishida won 257 runoff votes, while Kono got 170. The LDP-led coalition holds a majority in both chambers of parliament, meaning Kishida is practically assured of the prime ministership at an extraordinary parliamentary session on Monday. Two female candidates, Sanae Takaichi, a former communications minister, and Seiko Noda, the LDP executive acting secretary general, lost out in the four-way race in the first round of voting earlier on Wednesday. The contest came down to a two-way battle between Kono and Kishida, who comfortably beat his rival by 257 votes to 170 in a vote among party MPs and representatives of 47 prefectural party organisations.
Kishida, 64, will have little time to adjust to his new role, which became vacant after the outgoing prime minister, Yoshihide Suga, said he would not run in the party leadership race – a decision that effectively ended his premiership.