SWS: Noynoy widens lead over Villar; Erap falls
By Helen Flores
The Philippine Star
MANILA, Philippines – Less than three weeks before the May 10 elections, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III still leads the presidential race, the latest pre-election survey conducted by Social Weather Stations (SWS) showed.
The survey commissioned by BusinessWorld showed Aquino having a voter preference rating of 38 percent, 12 percentage points higher than his main rival Nacionalista Party Sen. Manuel Villar’s approval rating of 26 percent.
The gap between the two top contenders for the highest position in the land widened by three points from the previous BusinessWorld-commissioned survey conducted last March 19 to 22. Aquino’s rating then was 37 percent to Villar’s 28.
The latest pre-election survey conducted last April 16 to 19 has a random sampling population of 2,400.
Former President Joseph Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masang Pilipino stayed in third place with a voter preference rating of 17 percent, down two points from the previous survey.
Lakas-Kampi-CMD candidate Gilberto “Gibo” Teodoro, Jr. got a rating of nine percent, up three points from the previous survey.
Bagumbayan contender Sen. Richard Gordon and Bangon Pilipinas bet evangelist Eduardo Villanueva were statistically tied in fifth place with two percent each.
Presidential candidates receiving the approval of less than a percent of the respondents are Sen. Jamby Madrigal, 0.3 percent; environmentalist Nicanor Perlas, 0.2 percent; and Ang Kapatiran’s John Carlos de Los Reyes, 0.2 percent.
Six percent of the respondents were undecided. Preferences for disqualified candidate Vetellano Acosta of the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan and responses that could not be read were placed under the undecided category.
The respondents were asked the question, “If the elections were held today, who would you most likely vote for president, vice-president, senators and party-list.”
They were asked to shade the oval beside the names of their preferred candidates.
SWS said Aquino’s voter preference rating in balance Luzon rose to 37 percent, up two points from the previous survey. His rating in Mindanao also rose a point to 33 percent.
Voter preference for Aquino in Metro Manila, however, plunged four points to 35 percent.
Voter preference for Villar, on the other hand, weakened to 18 percent in Metro Manila, down by two percentage points from the previous survey. His rating in balance Luzon and the Visayas also went down five points to 25 percent. His rating, however, rose to 31 percent in Mindanao, up four points.
Voter confidence for Estrada in balance Luzon fell to 17 percent, down a point from the previous survey, same in Visayas where he has a voter preference rating of seven percent. Preference for him in Metro Manila also dropped two points to 25 percent and dropped four points in Mindanao to 22 percent.
Teodoro gained five points in Metro Manila to 10 percent, and four points each in balance Luzon, nine percent; and Visayas, 11 percent. His approval rating also rose to eight percent in Mindanao, up a point.
Villanueva’s rating in the Visayas rose to two percent, a point higher than the previous survey, but plunged to three percent in Metro Manila, a percentage point lower.
Voter preference for Gordon fell to two percent, two points lower in balance Luzon, and by a point in Visayas to one percent. His rating in Mindanao fell a point to 0.4 percent. His rating in Metro Manila, however, stayed the same at two percent.
Last week, Gordon filed a lawsuit against SWS and Pulse Asia for publishing his poor performance in survey ratings. He claimed that survey results manipulate the minds of the voters by setting a trend among candidates.
SWS said there are no major changes in the voter preference ratings of Madrigal, Perlas and De los Reyes from the March survey.
Aquino also leads across economic classes.
Aquino’s approval rating in the economic classes ABC rose to 53 percent, up eight points from the previous survey. Gordon received three percent, up a point; Teodoro’s rating rose to 11 percent, up by a point. Estrada’s rating dropped to six percent, down by five points. Villanueva’s rating remained stable at three percent.
Aquino is still the most preferred by the class D, or the “masa” with a voter preference rating of 38 percent. Villar is preferred by 25 percent, Estrada by 16 percent, Teodoro by 10 percent, Gordon and Villanueva by two percent.
In economic class E, Aquino leads with 32 percent, Villar 31 percent, Estrada 23 percent, Teodoro six percent, Vilanueva one percent and Gordon with 0.1 percent.
The survey has error margins of plus or minus two percentage points for national percentages, plus or minus six percentage points for Metro Manila, plus or minus three percentage points for the rest of Luzon and plus or minus four points for the Visayas and Mindanao.
Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said Aquino’s platform of governance to curb corruption is producing a response.
He said Villar, on the other hand, failed to address allegations against him. – With Aurea Calica