Noynoy lead now 22 points; Erap overtakes Villar—SWS
GERARD S. DELA PEÑA
With the May 10 elections just around the corner, Sen. Benigno Simeon “Noynoy” C. Aquino III has picked up steam to widen his lead in the presidential race, results of the final BusinessWorld-Social Weather Stations (BW-SWS) Pre-Election survey showed.
The May 2-3 poll, conducted roughly a week before Filipinos troop to the precincts, gave Mr. Aquino the support of 42%, up four points and ahead of former President Joseph “Erap” E. Estrada of the Pwersa ng Masa who was now in second place with three-point gain to 20%.
Erstwhile second-placer Sen. Manuel “Manny” B. Villar, Jr. of the Nationalista Party (NP) was a point behind at 19%, a result within the survey’s error margin of 2.2%. His support was down seven points from the prior BW-SWS poll of April 16-19.
The gap between the top two was 22 points, wider than the 12 Mr. Aquino enjoyed over Mr. Villar in the last survey.
Former Defense Secretary Gilberto “Gibo” C. Teodoro Jr., the ruling Lakas-Kampi-CMD party’s candidate, remained fourth with an unchanged score of 9%.
Bangon Pilipinas bet Eduardo “Bro. Eddie” C. Villanueva was fifth with 3%, followed by Partido Bagumbayan’s Sen. Richard “Dick” J. Gordon (2%), Ang Kapatiran’s John Carlos “JC” G. de los Reyes (0.3%), and independents Maria Consuelo “Jamby” A. S. Madrigal (0.2%) and Nicanor Jesus “Nick” P. Perlas (0.1%)
Six percent of the respondents were classed as undecided. This category included votes for disqualified Kilusang Bagong Lipunan bet Vetellano “Dodong” Acosta and others.
As in three prior surveys, the last BW-SWS poll had respondents being asked to fill out ballots in a simulation of the May 10 exercise. Polled were 2,400 registered voters, divided into random samples of 300 for Metro Manila, 900 in the Balance of Luzon, and 600 each in the Visayas and Mindanao.
(The BW-SWS polls for December and January involved the interviewers providing lists of candidates and asking the respondents to choose.)
The error margins used were ±2% for national percentages, ±6% for Metro Manila, ±3% for the rest of Luzon, and ±4% for the Visayas and Mindanao.
They were asked: “Kung ang eleksyon ay gaganapin ngayon, sino ang pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto bilang presidente, bise-presidente, mga senador at party list ng Pilipinas? Narito ang listahan ng mga kandidato. Paki-shade o itiman po ang naaangkop na oval katabi ng pangalan ng taong pinakamalamang ninyong iboboto. (If the elections were held today, whom would you most probably vote for as president, vice-president, senator, and party list of the Philippines? Here is a list of candidates. Please shade the oval beside the name of the persons you would most likely vote for.)
The results gave Mr. Aquino the lead across all geographic areas and social classes.
The SWS said his wider nationwide lead was due to gains of eight points in Metro Manila (to 43%), six points in Mindanao (39%), four points in the Balance of Luzon (41%), and one point in the Visayas (47%).
Mr. Estrada’s score went up owing to an eight-point improvement in Mindanao (to 30%), one-point gains each in Metro Manila (26%) and the rest of Luzon (18%), and an unchanged 7% in the Visayas.
Mr. Villar’s decline was traced to a 16-point plunge in Mindanao to 15%, an eight-point loss to 10% in Metro Manila and a five-point drop to 20% in the Balance of Luzon. His support in the Visayas stayed at 25%.
Mr. Teodoro’s two-point gain in Mindanao to 10% and a steady score of 9% in Balance of Luzon, meanwhile, were offset by two-point loss each in Metro Manila (to 8%) and the Visayas (9%).
Mr. Villanueva saw his scores in the Balance of Luzon and Mindanao move up by one point each to 4% and 2%, respectively, which was offset by identical declines in Metro Manila (to 2%) and the Visayas (1%).
Mr. Gordon, meanwhile, gained a point in the rest of Luzon (to 3%) and stayed steady in Metro Manila (2%) and the Visayas (1%). His support in Mindanao barely changed at 0.2%.
“The vote percentages of de los Reyes, Madrigal, and Perlas across major study areas hardly changed from April 16-19,” SWS said.
Among the ABC class, Mr. Estrada gained eight points (to 14%,) Mr. Teodoro by three (also to 14%), and Messrs. Villanueva, Gordon and Perlas added one point each (4%, 4%, and 1%, respectively). Messrs. Aquino and Villar lost nine points each to 44% and 13%, respectively.
Among the class D or masa, Mr. Aquino posted a six-point gain to 44%, Mr. Estrada added three points to 19%, while Messrs. Villanueva and Gordon were steady at 2% each. Mr. Teodoro lost two points to score 8% while Mr. Villar slid by seven points to 18%.
Among the class E, Mr. Teodoro posted a six-point increase to 12%, Mr. Aquino was up three points to 35%, and Mr. Villanueva added one point to 2%. Mr. Estrada’s score was unchanged at 23% while Mr. Villar lost 10 points to 21%.
As in geographical areas, the vote percentages for Ms. Madrigal, and Messrs. de los Reyes, Gordon and Perlas were hardly changed.
Sought for comment, Mr. Aquino’s spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a telephone interview: “We are humbled by the numbers. Undecided voters have decided to go for Noynoy after they have heard of our platforms. Secondly, the negative reports that other camps tried to present against us backlashed on them. The issue in this election has boiled down to trustworthiness. The Villar camp is now paying the price of their black propaganda [against us].”
Former senator Ernesto M. Maceda, Mr. Estrada’s campaign manager, said the latest SWS survey results did not match those of their internal survey where Mr. Aquino scored 34% while the former president obtained 29%.
“We do not accept this as reflection of the true situation on the ground. Based on the [support of] tens of thousands of people in our sorties, we feel we have much more,” he said in a separate phone interview.
Lawyer Mike Toledo, Mr. Teodoro’s spokesman, aired the same view, saying: “We find the survey hard to believe. It’s different from what we see on the ground. The surveys don’t reflect the reality [based on our sorties].”
The NP, for its part, was unfazed by the survey results, saying that Mr. Villar’s machinery would help him claim victory on May 10.
“While surveys may be good indicators of public opinion and perception, the NP, however, believes these do not dictate the outcome of elections,” senatorial bet Gilbert C. Remulla, who also acts as NP spokesman, said in a statement.
“We believe that the political machinery established by Senator Villar in the provincial, city and municipal levels nationwide would deliver the much-needed votes for our presidential candidate.” —BusinessWorld