(From Reuters)

Philippine Vice President Jejomar Binay has overtaken Senator Grace Poe as the top contender to win presidential elections next year in an opinion poll published on Tuesday.

Jejomar Binay

The survey of 1,800 people, conducted by independent pollster Pulse Asia, showed 33% of voters supported Binay, a former human rights lawyer and the most experienced politician among the presidential hopefuls, compared with 23% who backed the tough-talking, Davao city mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The poll was conducted between December 4 and 11. Binay was seen as the most likely winner of the 2016 presidential race until June, when opinion polls showed he was overtaken by Poe.

A survey published by another pollster, Social Weather Station, on December 7 showed Duterte as the favourite to succeed President Benigno Aquino.

This month, the Commission on Elections disqualified Poe because she failed to meet a 10-year residency requirement.

The May election is being closely watched by investors, who fear the political succession could derail the economic growth and efforts to crack down on graft made during Aquino’s rule.

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