MANILA - Separate surveys on preferred senatorial candidates that the Social Weather Stations (SWS) took last month showed varied results as respondents chose from "two different lists," a representative from the survey firm said Saturday.
This after certain camps cast suspicion on inconsistent results of two commissioned surveys both conducted from September 15 to 23.
Senator Cynthia Villar topped the SWS survey commissioned by Presidential political adviser Francis Tolentino, while Senator Grace Poe was the leading contender in an SWS study sponsored by Lakas-CMD official Alde Joselito Pagulayan.
The polls had the "same 1,500 respondents," but each survey provided a "different list" of candidates to choose from, SWS Deputy Director for Surveys Vlad Licudine told ANC's Dateline Philippines Weekend.
Both lists were provided by their respective sponsors: Tolentino's had 24 names on it, while Pagulayan's had 39 names, Licudine said.
"The number of names in the list affects the way voters chose their candidates, as well as the outcome in the share of votes," he said.
"It just goes to show people have different appreciations when shown different sets of lists," he said.
Despite some differences, both surveys consistently showed that the top 6 spots were occupied either by incumbent or former lawmakers, Licudine said.
"Normally they were trusted by the public because they have been previously elected," he said.
Other factors that may influence the preference of voters are popularity and "endearment," the SWS official said.
"You have to be known by the public, they have to be endeared or trusted by the public," he said.
The surveys were made public just as the period for filing certificates of candidacy at the Commission on Elections began.