Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Villar loses ground battle to Erap

The latest SWS survey just came out. Noynoy Aquino of the Liberal Party is still ahead of Nacionalista standard bearer Manny Villar despite being outclassed in the ads and air war. Aquino's lead is widening, while Villar's numbers are on the downside, probably affected by the latest campaigns by former president Joseph Estrada who continues to garner percentage points. Estrada is now third, narrowing the gap between him and Villar's. Villar's ranking fell by six points while Estrada gained four percentage points, an indication that Villar is the one losing territories with the renewed Estrada campaign.

Like what I wrote here previously, Estrada's campaign is hurting and will hurt Villar's in the coming weeks. Estrada is regaining his lost territories which were "hijacked" by the Nacionalista. Now, will it help that Villar is gaining allies from the administration party? Will this improve his standing notwithstanding? Let's just see in the next survey because these April surveys will show if really local executive support impacts on the way people perceive national candidates.

And it seems that the trend is following a very distinct pattern:

While Estrada regains his old territories hijacked by the Nacionalista, Villar loses considerable areas of support. However, while some areas covered by Estrada went back to him, most areas shift to Noynoy. Hence, the more Estrada campaigns, the more Noynoy benefits and Villar suffers. If this trend continues, Villar will be at the losing end of the game. In the end game however, it will be a very close fight among Noynoy Aquino, Villar and Estrada. The likelihood of a candidate gaining just 5-7% lead over his closest rival exists.

The ABC class is a revelation---Villar lost 16 percentage points which Aquino actually benefitted by gaining 15%. This means that the ABC class has now shifted their loyalties. It is in this class where support for Villar is weakening.

And what is highly significant is the fact that Estrada is gaining NEW territories, a fact which must not escape notice from the Liberal party. Aquino's base of support seemed to be at a standstill--between 35% to 40%--good, but not entirely. It just shows that Aquino's support base is not eating up those of Villar's and even of Estrada's.

There is about 5-6 million people who remains undecided. Critical for Aquino, Villar and Estrada to gain a slice of this huge number. Whoever exploits this will gain a slight advantage in the end.
Villar lost considerable support in the "D" Class, about six percentage points, which benefitted Estrada who gained four and Richard Gordon who got two percentage points. In the "E" class, Villar lost four percentage points, while Aquino and Eddie Villanueva got two percentage points each, an indication that the masses are shifting their loyalties.