MANILA, Philippines - A total of 52% of Filipinos would have picked Sen. Benigno 'Noynoy' Aquino III while 44% would have chosen Sen. Manny Villar had a two-man presidential race been held last December 27 to 28, according to a special Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey commissioned by the Villar camp.
The survey, disclosed by the SWS on Thursday, asked 2,100 respondents the question: Among the names found in this list, who will you probably vote for as President of the Philippines if elections were held today?
The survey has a plus/minus 2.2% margin of error.
The SWS said it disclosed the results of the survey on Thursday after the sponsor authorized its release.
The same question was asked in an October 1-4 SWS survey. The results showed that 65% would have chosen Aquino, while 28% would have picked Villar.
The Villar camp said the survey results showed that Villar had significantly cut Aquino's lead from 37 percentage points in October to 8 percentage points in December.
Aside from a list that contained only the names of Aquino and Villar, the respondents were also asked to choose from lists that had more names of presidential candidates, namely: former President Joseph Estrada, Lakas-Kampi-CMD's Gilbert Teodoro, Brother Eddie Villanueva, Sen. Richard Gordon, Jamby Madrigal, and Ang Kapatiran's JC de los Reyes.
The SWS said four other scenarios were also tested in the December 27-28 survey.
From a list showing 7 names without Estrada, Aquino got 49%; Villar 38%; Teodoro 6%; Villanueva 2%; Gordon 1%; Madrigal 1%; de Los Reyes 0.3%.
From a list showing 7 names without Teodoro, Aquino remained on top of the survey with 45% followed by Villar with 35%, Estrada 14%, Gordon and Villanueva 2% each, Madrigal 1%, de los Reyes 0.4%.
In a 3-way race, 50% chose Aquino followed by Villar with 40% and Teodoro 7%. A separate 3-way survey, meanwhile, still showed Aquino leading with 47%,Villar 37%, and Estrada 14%.