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iSentia index: three PMs, two governments keep people talking

Tony Abbott has fought off his two Labor leadership counterparts to take out the dubious honour of most talked-about politician in 2013. See who else made the list …

Julia Gillard Tony Abbott

This may have been the first year the iSentia Crikey Index has ever had three prime ministers vying for pole position in a single year, but in the end it wasn’t even that close. Julia Gillard and Kevin Rudd are both now private citizens, and while they had some momentous peaks of coverage during the year, the man who kept racking up coverage week in and week out, never doing too much or too little, keeping to the KISS principle with Jesuitical discipline and determination, ends the year as the Prime Minister of Australia and easily the most mentioned politician of 2013 — Tony Abbott.

Of course there were also three treasurers this year, and once again it’s the current Treasurer Joe Hockey who garnered the most coverage throughout the year, but heavily weighted towards the last three months since he has taken on the job. Former treasurer Wayne Swan pips Chris Bowen, although probably more due to reflection of past events than active mentions, with Bowen very active in the media from the moment his man took back the Lodge, right through the Labor interregnum when he was Acting Leader to his current rule as Shadow Treasurer.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison unsurprisingly makes the top ten, but our only bold prediction from this year’s list is that he may not move further up the list next year, despite going into 2014 as one of the government’s most high-profile ministers, regularly in the top five over the last few months. The boats may or may not stop, but can the media rage be maintained? The three eastern state premiers sit close to each other mid-table, with Denis Napthine close to Barry O’Farrell and Campbell Newman despite only being Victorian premier for the last seven months. He can mainly thank balance of power independent MP Geoff Shaw, who ended up 25th, for that.

Lastly, 40% of last year’s list is nowhere to be seen this year —  Craig Thomson, Peter Slipper, Anna Bligh, Ted Baillieu, Andrew Wilkie, Nicola Roxon, Stephen Smith and Rob Oakeshott, with only two of them still in the game. And we can already say at least four people on this list won’t be on it next year. Those are the sort of numbers that makes cage-fighting look soft and predictable, so go hug an ex-pollie the next time you see one.

Crikey Political Index for 2013

The battle between the PMs was much closer on talkback for the year, but nevertheless the same order, with the vast majority of Julia Gillard’s mentions in the first half of the year. Everyone else was a long, long way behind.

Talkback top five

Tony Abbott well ahead, with this list mainly determined by the level of criticism you’ve received. There’s not a lot of love for politicians on social media, with comments generally running about 70-30 in the negative.

Social media top five

Is Prince George a politician? Well, we can say for sure that he doesn’t have much choice about his future profession, whether you’d call it chief tourism officer or whatever else. Anyway, the punters in Australia still clearly love a royal baby. All we can say is whatever floats your boat, I suppose …

Comparison of media mentions

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    Mrs Aye
    Posted Thursday, 19 December 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

    He played the game steady and is now PM. Doesn’t make him a good one though.

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