ENTERING the homestretch of the campaign period and with days before the national elections, Liberal Party (LP) standard-bearer Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has set a “formidable lead” with a 45.2 percent voting share that is twice that of his closest rival, former President Joseph Estrada (22.2 percent), according to the latest survey by StratPOLLS-Graphic.
The noncommissioned survey, done with 1,500 respondents nationwide from April 27 to May 2, showed the LP candidate getting thrice the voting share (15.1, from 31 percent a month ago) of Nacionalista Party (NP) candidate Manuel Villar, who was knocked off from second place by Estrada.
An analysis by Prof. Alfredo Sureta Jr., StratPOLLS executive director, said Villar suffered a “serious fallout” from the exposé made by Estrada and party mate Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile of Villar’s alleged arm-twisting of the stock exchange and the Securities and Exchange Commission to bend the rules to favor the holding company of the billionaire senator’s property empire.
Sureta said Villar’s continued failure to criticize President Arroyo may have confirmed, in the voter’s mind, the talk that he is Arroyo’s secret candidate, as alleged by Aquino’s camp. The ill-advised TV interview of a tearful Curing Villar, in defense of her son, may have also had a negative impact, Sureta added.
On the other hand, the “psycho” issue against Aquino appears to be something which the voting public could live with and risk on.
On the fourth spot is former defense secretary Gilbert Teodoro with 10.1 (down from 11 percent), followed by Bro. Eddie Villanueva with 3 percent (up from 2 percent). Sixth is Sen. Richard Gordon with 1.5 percent (down from 4 percent) while on seventh is environmentalist Nicanor Perlas with 0.6 percent (up from zero). Councilor John Carlos de los Reyes and Sen. Jamby Madrigal tied for eighth spot with 0.2 percent.
According to Sureta, Villar brought the contest very close to Aquino but faltered in the final leg. Meanwhile, he said, Estrada’s rise in the ratings does not seem to pose a threat as Aquino has appreciably pulled away from his rivals.
In Metro Manila, Aquino took 42.1 percent of the survey, landing on top spot while Estrada came in second with 31.5 percent. Villar, who had a statistical-tie of a 2-percent difference with Aquino last month, is in third spot with 11.3 percent.
The same trend is also observed in Balance Luzon with Aquino 38.8 percent at first place, Estrada with 23.1 on second, and Villar with 22.4 percent on third.
In Visayas, Aquino enjoys his lead at 55.9 percent, Estrada in second spot with 15.7 percent and Teodoro in third spot with 11.9 percent. Villar dropped in fourth place with 8.6 percent.
In Mindanao, Aquino is on top spot with 44.1 percent, followed by Estrada with 18.5 percent and Villar in third spot with 17.8 percent.
Roxas maintains lead
For the vice-presidential race, LP candidate Manuel Roxas still leads with 40.1 percent, followed by PMP bet Jejomar Binay’s 37.8 percent. Sen. Loren Legarda fell to third spot with 13.1 percent followed by Eduardo Manzano in fourth with 3.5 percent.
Bayani Fernando came in fifth place with 2.7 percent and Perfecto Yasay is in sixth place with 1.2 percent. Tied in seventh place are Dominador Chipeco, Jr. and Jose Sonza with 0.2 percent.
Bong, Miriam share top spots in senatorial race
Sens. Bong Revilla and Miriam Santiago tied for 1st-2nd spots with 66.2 percent apiece. Sens. Jinggoy Estrada and Pia Cayetano share the Nos. 3-4 with Estrada’s 60.7 percent and Cayetano’s 60 percent.
Tied on 5th-6th spots are Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile (55.7 percent) and Franklin Drilon (55.3 percent). For the 7th-8th positions are former Sen. Vicente Sotto (45.6 percent) and Rep.. Ferdinand Marcos (45.2 percent). Former Sen. Sergio Osmeña is at 9th spot with 41.2 percent.
Former Sen. Ralph Recto (40.1 percent) and Jose De Venecia III (40) are on 10th-11th spots. Sharing the last spot are Teofisto Guingona (35.1 percent) and Ariel Querubin (35).
Akbayan, Gabriela gain momentum
The latest StratPOLLS-Graphic showed that Akbayan ranked first place for the party-list race with 7.3 percent followed by Gabriela on second place with 7 percent. An Waray and Bayan Muna share the 3rd-4th spots with 4.3 percent each. Buhay came in fifth spot with 3.2 percent.