For the first time since the campaign began, political neophyte Nancy Binay, one of the biggest buyers of prime time TV ads, has broken into the third to fourth spot of the senatorial race, according to a survey conducted by Social Weather Stations on April 13-15.
Results of the nationwide survey, first published in BusinessWorld, showed 49 percent of respondents supporting Binay of the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA)—two percentage points up from her rating in March.
Nancy, daughter of Vice President Jejomar Binay, has been criticized for her lack of experience. Unlike her two siblings, a reelectionist mayor of Makati City and a reelectionist representative of the city, Nancy has not held any elective post.
She is a UP BS Tourism graduate and a former personal assistant of her father.
Binay, 39, was tied with former Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar (Nacionalista Party/Team PNoy), who also garnered 49 percent, two percentage points up from her rating last month.
Both Binay and Villar, wife of former Senate President Manny Villar, dislodged Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero (Independent/Team PNoy), who has been hounded by controversies surrounding his girlfriend, actress Heart Evangelista.
Escudero, who consistently placed second in SWS surveys from December to February, landed in fifth place with 47 percent, down one percentage point from his rating in March, in which he placed third or fourth.
For its survey, SWS asked 1,800 registered voters nationwide the question, “If the elections were held today, whom would you most probably vote for senator of the Philippines?” Twelve seats in the 24-member Senate are at stake in the mid-term elections.
The noncommissioned survey used face-to-face interviews and had a margin of error of plus-or-minus two percentage points.
A total of nine candidates of the administration-backed Team PNoy had a statistical chance of winning a Senate seat if elections were conducted less than a month before the elections, based on the survey results.
Team PNoy is an alliance of candidates of the Liberal Party (LP), Nacionalista Party (NP), Nationalist People’s Coalition (NPC), PDP Laban and Laban ng Demokratikong Pilipino (LDP).
Aside from Binay, three other UNA candidates—San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito, Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. and Sen. Gringo Honasan—made it to the list of probable winners.
Reelectionist Sen. Loren Legarda (NPC/Team PNoy), who consistently topped the poll since December, emerged in first place again with 59 percent, unchanged from her March rating.
Trailing Legarda was Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (NP/Team PNoy, 52 percent), who managed to secure his ranking despite a five-percentage point drop from the March survey.
Bam up to No. 6
Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (LP/Team PNoy), first cousin of President Aquino, surged to sixth place with 44 percent, up two percentage points from the previous survey, in which he landed in 10th place.
Sharing the seventh to eighth place were Sen. Koko Pimentel (PDP-Laban/Team PNoy) and Ejercito (UNA), who both garnered 43 percent.
In ninth spot was Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (LDP/Team PNoy, 42 percent), who rose from the 12th spot in the March survey, where he garnered 39 percent.
Both in 10th to 11th spot were former Movie and Television Review and Classification Board chief Grace Poe (independent/Team PNoy), 39 percent) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (NP/Team PNoy, 39 percent).
Rounding up the list of probable winners were UNA candidates Enrile and Honasan, who both got 37 percent, landing them in 12th to 13th place.
Barely making it to the list were former Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri (UNA, 35 percent) and former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (LP/Team PNoy, 35 percent), who both landed in 14th to 15th place.
SWS said 45 percent of respondents chose a full slate of 12 candidates; 2 percent were either undecided or did not have an answer; and 4 percent had invalid ballots.—Inquirer Research