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10 January 2010
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Philippine Elections: Survey shows narrowing gap between two front runners

The lead of Liberal Party standard-bearer Benigno Aquino III over his nearest rival, Sen. Manny Villar, of the Nacionalista Party has been narrowed to 11 percent, according to a recent Social Weather Stations survey commissioned by a Villar ally.

Aquino was the choice of 44 percent of 2,100 respondents across the country in the SWS special year-end survey conducted from Dec. 27 to 28, 2009. Villar obtained 33 percent, narrowing the gap with Aquino to 11 percent, and improving his ratings from the 27 percent he got in the earlier Dec. 5-10 SWS survey.

The survey was privately commissioned by House Minority Leader San Juan Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, a Villar ally, and was released to Senate reporters by Villar’s office.

A statement issued by Villar’s office said the senator “seems to have benefited from the shift in voting preference over the last three weeks in December as respondents start to put a premium on proven competence, leadership and accomplishments.”

A comparison of the two surveys showed that Villar had added six percentage points in the three weeks between the two survey dates.

Aquino obtained 46 percent in the earlier survey, leading Villar by 19 percentage points. Deposed president Joseph Estrada remained in third place but shed one percentage point in the new SWS survey to 15 percent, from his previous 16 percent.

The Philippines plans to hold presidential and congressional elections in May this year.


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