Labor leader Kevin Rudd has put an end to his very public relationship with Mel, Kochie and Big Joe — but now, Crikey can exclusively reveal, he will sell the story of his political love affair with the Australian people to New Idea.

“As Newspoll says today, 59% of the Australian people love Kevin on a two-party preferred basis,” a close pal of the Labor leader told Crikey today. “Kevin wants to reciprocate and make a public commitment of his affection, too. What better forum for that than New Idea?”

A prominent political analyst from the University of Dawkins today endorsed the Opposition Leader’s strategy. “The Rove McManus/Karl Rove confusion was the straw that broke Beazley’s back,” they told Crikey. “Embracing the trash mags may tip the election Rudd’s way.

“As polling day approaches, we can expect to see Rudd having a quickie wedding in Las Vegas, shaving his head, chasing paparazzi with an umbrella and getting out of cars sans knickers in an intensely private way. Indeed, to maximise his coverage, he may well spend the entire duration of the election campaign in rehab.”

At the same time, Crikey has obtained another world exclusive, a picture of the Labor leader preparing for his National Press Club speech in the Great Hall of Parliament House today.

It is feared that Rudd will feel some heat from the great and good of the gallery, who are angry that Rudd has dared to speak to the electorate through anyone other than them. However, a spokesperson for the tent told Crikey: “Better on the inside p-ssing out than on the outside p-ssing in”.