Duterte drove up voter turnout: analysts

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Presidential candidate Rodrigo Duterte Fernando G. Sepe, Jr., ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Analysts believe Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is one of the reasons behind the high voter turnout in the May 9 elections. 

Commission on Election (Comelec) Chairman Andres Bautista estimates voter turnout at 81 percent. Comelec spokesman James Jimenez said this is definitely one of the highest voter turnouts in history, but he is still checking if this is the all-time high.

ABS-CBN Investigative and Research Group cited data from the Comelec and the National Statistical Coordination Board which place voter turnout in 2010 at 75.38 percent and 77.31 percent in 2013.

Professor Prospero De Vera of the University of the Philippines attributes it to the many perceptions about voting day, as well as presidential survey frontrunner Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

"The perception until election day that it will be close, the aggressive campaign particularly by the administration against Duterte, and the hype of what awaits the country in a Duterte presidency, drove the high turnout," he explained.

Professor Ranjit Rye, also from UP, said the high voter turnout is very significant.

"That people came out in record numbers symbolizes their collective and sovereign choice for hope over fear. The high turnout is very significant. It's clear people came out not just to vote for change but to affirm their hope and belief in elections as a tool for broadening and deepening democracy. Indeed, Mayor Duterte will not just win but will win impressively with a broad mandate to govern," Rye added.

Rye expects Duterte to win with about 40 percent of votes.

"My fearless forecast is he will win close to 40 percent of the vote. While still a plurality, this vote will give President Digong the solid mandate to push his reform program forward."

Based on the partial and unofficial results from the Commission on Elections (Comelec) Transparency Server as of 1:20 a.m., May 10, 2016, Duterte had 14,296,434 votes, or 38 percent of total votes.

The last three presidential elections show that the eventual winners had about 40 percent of the vote.

ABS-CBN Investigative and research group compiled the following data:

Results for President in Previous Elections (1998-2010)

• In 1998, Joseph Ejercito Estrada got nearly 40 percent of the total number of votes cast for President (39.86%) and won against Jose De Venecia with a lead of 6,453,812 votes.

Total no. of votes garnered by Estrada: 10,722,295

• In 2004, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo won against Fernando Poe Jr. by 1,123,576 votes. GMA got approximately 40 percent of the votes cast for President while the latter got almost 37 percent.

Total no. of votes garnered by Macapagal-Arroyo: 12,905,808

• In 2010, Benigno Aquino III got 42 percent of the total number of votes cast for President. He won against Joseph Ejercito Estrada by 5,720,841 votes.

Total no. of votes garnered by Aquino: 15,208,678

If elected, Duterte will become the 16th President, and the first from Mindanao.

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