Nine administration and three opposition candidates are leading the race for the Senate, according to the final preelection poll taken by the Social Weather Stations on May 2 and 3.
But those in the last three spots are not sure of still being there next Monday, Election Day.
One administration candidate and five opposition candidates are slugging it out for these last three spots.
The nine administration candidates are Team PNoy’s reelectionist Senators Loren Legarda, Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and Antonio Trillanes IV, Las Piñas Rep. Cynthia Villar, Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara and political newcomers Grace Poe and Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino.
The three opposition candidates are United Nationalist Alliance’s Nancy Binay, San Juan Rep. JV Ejercito and reelectionist Sen. Gregorio Honasan.
Fighting to wrest the last three spots from Angara, Trillanes and Honasan are Cagayan Rep. Juan Ponce Enrile Jr. (UNA), former Sen. Ramon Magsaysay Jr. (LP/Team PNoy) and former Bukidnon Rep. Juan Miguel Zubiri (UNA).
Legarda still tops
Controversy swirling around Legarda (NPC/Team PNoy) involving underdeclaration of assets failed to dislodge her from the first place in the Top 12 of the latest SWS poll.
On May 2, self-styled public interest advocate Louis Biraogo accused Legarda of not declaring real property on Park Avenue, New York City, for four years.
Legarda denied the accusation, calling it “black propaganda” intended to pull her down from the top in the preelection polls.
Results of the latest SWS poll showed Legarda with 57 percent, 2 percentage points down from her April rating.
Legarda’s rating could be virtually unchanged from last month, considering the poll’s margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
Poe (Independent/Team PNoy), former chairperson of the Movie and Television Review and Classification Board, posted the most gain, with 45 percent, 6 percentage points up from her April rating.
Poe, who ranked fifth in the latest SWS poll, previously occupied the 10th to 11th spot.
Villar (Nacionalista Party/Team PNoy) suffered the biggest decline, garnering 44 percent, 5 percentage points down from her rating last month.
Villar slid from third to fourth place in April to sixth to seventh place in the latest poll.
The rest in the top nine spots saw minor changes from their April ratings, considering the poll’s error margin.
Trailing Legarda was Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano (NP/Team PNoy, 50 percent), who also shed 2 percentage points from the April poll.
Political newcomer Nancy Binay (UNA) retained the third to fourth spot, with 48 percent, down by 1 percentage point from last month.
Tied with Binay in third to fourth spot was Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero (Independent/Team PNoy, 48 percent), up by 1 percentage point from his April rating that put him in the fifth place.
Along with Villar in sixth to seventh spot was San Juan City Rep. JV Ejercito (UNA, 44 percent), up by 1 percentage point from the previous poll, where he ranked seventh to eighth.
Sen. Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III (PDP-Laban/Team PNoy) secured the eighth place with 43 percent, unchanged from his previous rating. His previous ranking, however, was seventh to eighth.
In ninth place was Paolo Benigno “Bam” Aquino IV (LP/Team PNoy), first cousin of President Aquino, who slid from sixth place last month, garnering 41 percent, down 3 percentage points from the previous poll.
Both in 10th to 11th place were Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara (LDP/Team PNoy, 38 percent) and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV (NP/Team PNoy, 38 percent).
At the tailend of the list of probable winners was Sen. Gringo Honasan (UNA), whose 37 percent rating was unchanged from last month’s poll, in which he placed 12th to 13th.
Although they failed to make it to the top 12, three candidates could still statistically figure in the top 12: Enrile Jr. (35 percent, 13th place), former Senator Magsaysay (33 percent, 14th to 15th place) and Zubiri (33 percent, 14th to 15th place).
For the noncommissioned poll, SWS asked 2,400 registered voters nationwide the question, “If the elections were held today, whom would you most probably vote for senator of the Philippines?”
Twelve of the 24 seats in Senate are at stake in midterm elections next Monday.
SWS said 44 percent of respondents chose a full slate of 12 candidates; 3 percent were either undecided or did not have an answer; another 3 percent had invalid ballots.—Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research