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10 vote-rich provinces have one-third of country's voters


It has only been a week since the start of the campaign season and already, both of the major senatorial tickets have ticked off Cebu on their itinerary list. There's little wonder why -- with 2.5 million voters, Cebu is the number one vote-rich province in the country. So far, the campaign trail has also led senatorial hopefuls to various pitstops in Metro Manila and other vote-rich provinces like Batangas, Laguna, and Pampanga. As senatorial candidates scoot from one sortie to the next, GMA News Research examines the provinces with the most number of voters and how those places delivered votes in past elections. Our analysis is based on the latest voter registration statistics data for the 2013 elections as well as voter turnout statistics in the 2010 elections, both sourced from the Commission on Elections. The data indicate that voters in vote-rich provinces are less inclined to actually vote than those in provinces with fewer voters. Vote-rich but low voter-turnout The top 10 vote-rich provinces in the 2013 elections are (in descending order) Cebu, Cavite, Pangasinan, Negros Occidental, Laguna, Bulacan, Davao del Sur, Batangas, Rizal, and Nueva Ecija. The said provinces have the most number of registered voters in the coming elections according to latest available data from the Commission on Elections (as of January 14, 2013). These 10 provinces alone account for 16 million voters, or nearly a third of the total number of registered voters in the country. Most of these vote-rich provinces are based in Luzon and are among the richest local government units in the country. Of the top 10 vote-rich provinces in the 2013 elections, half logged a voter turnout below the national turnout in the last presidential elections — 74.99 percent.    These are Cavite, Laguna, Davao del Sur, Rizal, and Nueva Ecija . (Refer to Table 1)
Table 1. TOP 10 VOTE-RICH PROVINCES IN 2013  AND THEIR CORRESPONDING VOTER TURNOUT IN 2010 Source: GMA News Research based on Comelec data
2013 ELECTIONS   2010 ELECTIONS
RANK 10 PROVINCES WITH THE MOST NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS (VOTE-RICH) REGISTERED VOTERS   VOTER TURNOUT* NATIONAL VOTER TURNOUT = 74.99%
1 CEBU 2,509,520   77.86% above
2 CAVITE 1,789,438   67.25% below
3 PANGASINAN 1,651,814   79.55% above
4 NEGROS OCCIDENTAL 1,574,784   77.61% above
5 LAGUNA 1,525,522   73.25% below
6 BULACAN 1,497,873   77.85% above
7 DAVAO DEL SUR 1,491,806   64.37% below
8 BATANGAS 1,444,249   78.41% above
9 RIZAL 1,382,825   67.79% below
10 NUEVA ECIJA 1,363,633   71.93% below
  10 vote-rich provinces 16,231,464   73.59% average voter turnout *% of voters in the province in 2010 who actually voted in the 2010 elections
  Total, all provinces 52,007,343  
  % Top 10 vote-rich to Total 31%  
The 74.99 percent national turnout represents some 38 million voters nationwide who cast their votes during the 2010 elections. Eight in 10 registered voters cast their vote last elections.  Fifty-four provinces recorded provincial turnout higher that the national figure; 26 provinces posted lower turnout. Davao del Sur--the seventh vote-rich province in the  coming May elections--recorded the lowest voter turnout among the provinces in the 2010 polls. Only 64.37 percent of the province's registered voters actually voted that year. (Refer to Table 2) Second vote-rich province Cavite and ninth vote-rich province Rizal were not far behind Davao del Sur in terms of the 2010 voter turnout.
Table 2. 10 PROVINCES WITH THE LOWEST VOTER TURNOUT  IN THE 2010 ELECTIONS Source: GMA News Research based on Comelec data
PROVINCE
REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE 2010
ELECTIONS
VOTERS WHO ACTUALLY VOTED IN 2010 VOTER TURNOUT IN 2010
ZAMBOANGA SIBUGAY 346,687 242,920 70.07%
DINAGAT ISLANDS 70,723 49,306 69.72%
SARANGANI 271,661 186,749 68.74%
MAGUINDANAO 652,933 443,386 67.91%
RIZAL 1,265,019 857,495 67.79%
ZAMBOANGA DEL SUR 922,973 622,931 67.49%
CAVITE 1,664,074 1,119,123 67.25%
SOUTH COTABATO 736,884 480,582 65.22%
SULTAN KUDARAT 380,091 247,297 65.06%
DAVAO DEL SUR 1,474,919 949,370 64.37%
Vote-poor but high voter turnout While voters from vote-rich provinces seemed to be less eager to troop to polling precincts, those from  provinces with fewer voters seemed to be more keen on exercising their right to vote. The 10 provinces with the least number of registered voters in the 2013 elections are (in descending order): Mountain Province, Ifugao, Biliran, Quirino, Guimaras, Apayao, Dinagat Islands, Siquijor, Camiguin, and Batanes. Most of the vote-poor provinces are small islands while some are located in the Cordilleras.  The 791,029 voters from these provinces account for only 2 percent of the total number of voters nationwide -- a mere blip in the vote radar of campaigning candidates. (Refer to Table 3) Although their combined number of voters is far less than that of any single vote-rich province, most of these vote-poor provinces have a better record when it comes to actual voting. Seven of these 10 vote-poor provinces have a percentage of voting higher than the national voter turnout in the 2010 elections: Ifugao, Biliran, Guimaras, Apayao, Siquijor, Camiguin, and Batanes.
Table 3. TOP 10 VOTE-POOR PROVINCES IN 2013  AND THEIR CORRESPONDING VOTER TURNOUT IN 2010 Source: GMA News Research based on Comelec data
2013 ELECTIONS   2010 ELECTIONS
RANK 10 PROVINCES WITH THE LEAST NUMBER OF REGISTERED VOTERS (VOTE-POOR) REGISTERED VOTERS   VOTER TURNOUT* NATIONAL VOTER TURNOUT = 74.99%
10 MT. PROVINCE 108,111   73.57% below
9 IFUGAO 108,080   78.44% above
8 BILIRAN 104,712   83.47% above
7 QUIRINO 104,672   72.90% below
6 GUIMARAS 100,521   81.64% above
5 APAYAO 66,283   76.34% above
4 DINAGAT ISLANDS 65,345   69.72% below
3 SIQUIJOR 64,804   86.58% above
2 CAMIGUIN 58,021   84.56% above
1 BATANES 10,480   85.28% above
  10 vote-poor provinces 791,029   79.25% average voter turnout *% of voters in the province in 2010 who actually voted in the 2010 elections
  Total, all provinces 52,007,343  
  % Top 10 vote-poor to Total 2%  
Notably, four of the 10 vote-poor provinces are also among the provinces with the highest voter turnout in the 2010 elections.   Siquijor, with its almost 65,000 voters, leads with an 86.58 percent voting percentage -- the highest voter turnout among provinces in the last election.   Batanes, with just over 10,000 voters, had a 85.28 percent voter turnout. This means 9 in 10 of its registered voters trooped to the polling places. (Refer to Table 4) In the presidential campaign in 2010, Noynoy Aquino was the only prominent presidentiable to shake the hands of the Batanes folks. Of course, former Batanes Representative Butch Abad, now Budget secretary, was then the campaign manager of Aquino.
Table 4. 10 PROVINCES WITH THE HIGHEST VOTER TURNOUT  IN THE 2010 ELECTIONS Source: GMA News Research based on Comelec data
PROVINCE REGISTERED VOTERS IN THE 2010 ELECTIONS VOTERS WHO ACTUALLY VOTED IN 2010 VOTER TURNOUT IN 2010
SIQUIJOR 61,099 52,901 86.58%
CATANDUANES 153,334 131,209 85.57%
BATANES 10,245 8,737 85.28%
ILOCOS SUR 386,884 327,355 84.61%
CAMIGUIN 57,314 48,465 84.56%
BOHOL 732,627 613,743 83.77%
SOUTHERN LEYTE 248,172 207,305 83.53%
BILIRAN 98,858 82,513 83.47%
LA UNION 432,606 358,951 82.97%
ALBAY 698,439 576,973 82.61%
Metro Manila
At just under 6 million, Metro Manila voters account for about 12 percent of the total number of registered voters in the 2013 elections. The number of voters in most of its cities are even larger than that of some provinces; for instance, Quezon City alone already has more than one million registered voters. While teeming with voters, Metro Manila recorded the second to the lowest voter turnout among the regions in the 2010 elections. Its 69.07 percent percentage of voting last elections is just a few points better than SOCCSKARGEN's 68.91 percent. Among Metro Manila's local government units (LGUs), only Valenzuela City and Pateros recorded a voter turnout higher than the national figure.
Table 5. METRO MANILA LGUs' REGISTERED VOTERS IN 2013 AND THEIR CORRESPONDING VOTER TURNOUT IN 2010 Source: GMA News Research based on Comelec data
2013 ELECTIONS   2010 ELECTIONS
RANK  (w/in NCR) CITY/MUNICIPALITY REGISTERED VOTERS   VOTER TURNOUT* NATIONAL VOTER TURNOUT = 74.99%
1 Quezon City 1,083,912   71.09% below
2 Manila 953,382   73.79% below
3 Caloocan 636,243   65.13% below
4 Makati 399,726   70.84% below
5 Pasig 354,531   74.90% below
6 Taguig 325,498   59.78% below
7 Las Piñas 321,784   63.79% below
8 Muntinlupa 293,441   64.57% below
9 Parañaque 277,171   65.79% below
10 Valenzuela 276,770   76.12% above
11 Pasay 247,569   71.48% below
12 Marikina 214,108   72.72% below
13 Mandaluyong 195,977   60.83% below
14 Malabon 183,104   67.85% below
15 Navotas 119,040   63.42% below
16 San Juan 79,656   65.76% below
17 Pateros (pending)   77.25% above
  Metro Manila 5,995,904   69.07% below
  Total, all regions 52,007,343   *% of voters in the city/mun in 2010 who actually voted in the 2010 elections
  % Metro Manila to Total 12%  
         
— with reports from Brenda Barrientos-Vallarta/RSJ, GMA News