Voters’ Choices in SWS ‘Presidentiables’ Survey

1.   Given the following SWS surveys, I venture to deduce additional points for campaign strategists to tweak.

These two surveys may not be strictly comparable in terms of, among others, the questions asked, sample sizes, and different survey periods.  So it is understandable if you stop reading this because you feel that this exercise is ‘stretching’ the objectives of both surveys.

2.   Some technical notes from the two surveys are provided as follows:

a.       4-8 November 2009 Survey (referred to as Nov 09)

Error margin: +/- 3

Sample size: 1200

Question: Under the present Constitution, the term of Pres. Arroyo is up to 2010 only, and there will be an election for a new President in May 2010. Who do you think are good leaders who should succeed Pres. Arroyo as President? You may give up to three names.

Comment: Note that voters can only select one person for the position of President.  This survey allows for three, so there is room for a ‘voter’ (respondent) to make second and third choices.  Why? Perhaps to have an estimate of potential support for a candidate, short of a ‘vote’ but better than being classified as an undecided.

b.       5-10 December 2009 Survey (referred to as Dec 09)

Error margin: +/- 2.2

Sample size: 2100

Question: Among the names found on this list who will you probably vote for as President of the Philippines if the elections were held today?

Comment: This question allows the ‘voter’ (respondent) only one choice for the President.  It is also similar to the Pulse Asia question: Of the people on this list, whom would you vote for as the President of the Philippines if the elections of 2010 were held today and they were presidential candidates? I also understand that the SWS will be using the above question for its ‘Presidentiable’ surveys until May 2010.

3.   From the press releases from the SWS website,, I bring the results together, even if seemingly incomparable, and these are shown in the following analysis table.



Nov 09 (2) Dec 09




% Share of 2nd & 3rd choices to total Nov 09


Aquino 59 46 13 22
Villar 45 27 18 40
Estrada 18 16 2 11
Teodoro 8 5 3 38
Gordon 1 1

4.  Some points (conjectures) from the analysis table:

°         Column 2 can represent the maximum votes of a presidentiable as of November 2009.

°         Column 3 can represent the first choice votes as of December 2009.

°         Column 4 can represent the 2nd or 3rd choice votes as of December 2009.

  • Candidate Villar might have the biggest number and percentage of 2nd or 3rd choice votes.  If he can turn these into 1st choice votes, he levels up with Candidate Aquino, assuming the latter does not convert any of his to 1st choice votes.
  • Candidate Estrada might be close to hitting his maximum potential votes.  Candidate Villar might consider winning over Candidate Estrada to his side to have a good chance of catching up and/or overtaking Candidate Aquino.
  • Candidate Aquino might have the next highest number of 2nd or 3rd choice votes.  If he can get 51% of the votes, more than half, he is unreachable as he would have the majority.
  • Candidates Teodoro and Gordon might still be far from posing a threat to the front runners.

5.  It would be worth reading this note with my previous note on ‘Preferences for Presidentiables’, even if this is based on the surveys of Pulse Asia.

I admit though that these observations are all based on surveys conducted by SWS and Pulse Asia and from no other information.



Filed under election, Philippines, statistics

3 responses to “Voters’ Choices in SWS ‘Presidentiables’ Survey

  1. Interesting post! I really enjoyed reading this post. I’m just hope for a clean and safe election this 2010. And who ever wins as the race for presidency, I wish he/she can change our country from its current state. Anyway, I’ve been looking for interesting topic as this. Looking forward for your next post.


    • makuhari

      I share your hopes for a clean and safe elections, although we are challenged by the generally-untested automation election system. Thanks for your comments.

  2. Thanks! This helped a lot! I’ve seen several
    rather confusing sites lately, this cleared up some confusion I had.

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