Senator Loren Legarda of the Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC) would take the top spot in the senatorial race if elections had been held between Nov. 29 and Dec. 3, a recent Social Weather Stations survey found.
The SWS November 2012 Pre-Election Survey, first published in BusinessWorld, found 68 percent of Filipino adults saying they would vote for Legarda, nine percentage points up from 57 percent in August.
Legarda dislodged independent candidate Sen. Chiz Escudero (61 percent), who had topped the previous quarter’s survey with 62 percent.
Thirteen candidates had a statistical chance of making it to the winning circle, with five candidates from the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), two candidates each from the Nacionalista Party (NP) and NPC, and one candidate each from the Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Liberal Party-Nacionalista Party (LP-NP) and the Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP).
Occupying the third, fourth and fifth spots were Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (NP, 58 percent), former Las Piñas City Rep. Cynthia Villar (NP, 51 percent) and San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito-Estrada (UNA, 49 percent), respectively.
Tied at sixth to seventh places were Sen. Koko Pimentel (PDP Laban, 46 percent) and Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile, Jr. (NPC, 46 percent).
In eighth place was Sen. Gringo Honasan (UNA, 43 percent), followed by Ma. Lourdes Nancy Binay (UNA, 41 percent) and former Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri (UNA, 41 percent), who were tied between ninth and tenth place.
Last two spots
Considering the survey’s error margin of plus-or-minus 3 percentage points, three candidates had the chance to occupy the last two spots: Sen. Antonio Trillanes (LP-NP, 40 percent), former Sen. Richard Gordon (UNA, 37 percent) and Aurora Rep. Sonny Angara (LDP, 35 percent).
Barely making it to the list were former Sen. Jamby Madrigal (LP, 30 percent), former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (LP, 29 percent), former Sen. Ernesto Maceda (UNA, 25 percent), Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (LP, 24 percent) and Akbayan party-list member Risa Hontiveros (Akbayan, 21 percent).
The survey used face-to-face interviews with 1,200 respondents nationwide, who were made to choose from a list of 32 candidates.
Compared to the August survey, Villar had the biggest leap in the rankings, going up to fourth place with 51 percent, from between 10th to 11th place in the previous quarter’s survey with 34 percent.
Ejercito-Estrada and Pimentel also posted significant improvements from the previous quarter, when they tied at between eighth to ninth place with 38 percent.
Meanwhile, those who slipped from their previous rankings included Enrile (formerly in fourth place with 48 percent), as well as Honasan, Trillanes and Angara (who were all tied in fifth to seventh place with 40 percent).
Binay was not included in the previous survey.
The release of the SWS Pre-Election survey results coincided with that of Pulse Asia’s survey on Senatorial Preferences.
Although their methodologies are different, SWS and Pulse had similar candidates in their list of probable winners, with the exception of Gordon, who did not make it in the latter’s list.
Gordon placed between the 13th to 17th spot in the November Pulse Asia survey with 29.7 percent. Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research