Front-runner and Liberal Party candidate Senator Benigno Aquino III saw a slight decline in his lead over his closest rival, Nacionalista Party standard bearer Senator Manuel Villar Jr., as administration bet Gilberto Teodoro Jr. picked up two percentage points in the latest Manila Standard poll.

The survey, conducted between April 4 and 6, asked 2,500 registered voters nationwide to cast their ballots for president, vice president and senators, said Pedro Laylo Jr., resident pollster at the Manila Standard. The survey had a margin of error of 2 percent.

Nationwide, Aquino received 37 percent of the vote, two points down from his showing in March, while Villar stayed steady at 26 percent.

Deposed President Joseph Estrada picked up a point to gain 18 percent, while Teodoro gained two points to grab 8 percent, his best showing yet since polling began. Senator Richard Gordon and evangelist Eddie Villanueva both had 2 percent.

Aquino suffered a dramatic 11-point drop in Metro Manila, which was picked up in part by Estrada, who gained 3 points, and Teodoro, who went up one point. The number of undecided rose from 4 percent in March to 9 percent in April.

In North and Central Luzon, Villar maintained a narrow 4 percent lead over Aquino. In the same region, Estrada lost two points to take a 23-percent share, while Teodoro picked up the same amount to garner 9 percent.

Teodoro and Estrada also picked up 2-point gains in South Luzon and the Bicol regions at the expense of the front-runner, whose large 42 percent there tapered to 38 percent.

In the Visayas, Aquino took a commanding 51 percent of the vote, 24 points ahead of Villar.

Teodoro picked up three points in Mindanao to get 9 percent, taking votes from Aquino (34 percent) and Villar (26 percent).

Among upper and middle class voters, Aquino beat Villar 33 percent to 22 percent. Teodoro came in third among these voters, with 13 percent, beating Estrada with 10 percent.

Among poor voters, Aquino led Villar 38 percent to 26 percent, while Estrada had 16 percent and Teodoro had 8 percent.

Among the poorest class, Aquino led Villar 37 percent to 29 percent, while Estrada had 22 percent and Teodoro had 6 percent.

Metro Manila had the highest percentage of undecided voters in April, taking the top spot previously held by North and Central Luzon in previous surveys.

Teodoro registered a 4-point gain among voters aged 18 to 24, but Aquino still held 38 percent of this age group. The administration bet also picked up gains from Aquino and Villar in the 25-to-34 age bracket.

Aquino’s lead among the 35-to-44-year-olds shrank as Villar and Estrada gained. Among those 45 and older, Aquino held a 14-point lead over Villar.

Support for Aquino and Villar among females continued to drop, while Teodoro and Estrada realized slight gains.

Tables Aquino maintains double-digit lead over Villar 0410-RP


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