Philippines elections: Grace Poe upbeat even as Rodrigo Duterte takes poll lead

The latest survey shows tough talking mayor Duterte has emerged as a strong contender against Poe.

Philippines presidential front-runner Grace Poe's followers are confident that her candidacy is firm footed despite a main rival securing a narrow lead in the latest opinion poll.

According to the latest survey conducted by Laylo Research Strategies, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte garnered 30 percent support from prospective voters, against 27 percent for Poe.

The survey conducted between March 26 and April 1 showed tough talking mayor Duterte has emerged as a strong contender against Poe, who has held on to significant lead during most of the campaign. The poll was conducted by Laylo Research Strategies.

Philippines will go to the polls on 9 May to elect a successor to the outgoing President Benigno Aquino III

An upbeat Poe camp said the latest polls showed that she can sustain the momentum right up to the elections.

"The survey results clearly indicate the growing consolidation of support behind the candidacy of Sen. Poe. Coming into the last leg of the campaign period, Sen. Poe continues to stay in the forefront of the polls," Poe's spokesman Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian said in a statement.

The Laylo Research poll showed administration insider Manuel Roxas II secured 21 percent support, followed by Vice-President Jejomar Binay who got 18 percent support. Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was at the bottom of the heap with 2 percent.

The Pulse Asia poll conducted last week showed Poe had regained her front-runner status with 28 percent of the voters favouring her to become the next president.

Poe is tied in a four-way race for presidency with Vice President Jejomar Binay, Davao Mayor Rodrigo Duterte and administration standard-bearer Manuel Roxas II offering stiff competition to the senator.

Duterte and Binay were statistically tied for second place with 24 percent and 23 percent voter preference in the last week's poll.

The Poe camp, however, is not worried over the rise in Duterte's support. "As more and more individuals and organized groups endorse her candidacy, her platform of governance continues to gain steam. We are confident that momentum will be sustained as the elections draw nearer," Poe's spokeaman said.

Poe, a long-time outside to Philippine power politics runs her campaign on the reform plank.