Day 15 of the election campaign was like one of those nil all draws at soccer – boring and hard to get excited about. The scoring for Crikey’s The Daily Verdict had the Coalition and Labor locked together with the lowest rating yet recorded for any day.

Coalition ALP
Television 0.79 0.95
Newspapers 0.18 0.11
Radio 0.27 0.24
Internet 0.06 0.00
TOTAL 1.30 1.30

In short Labor won the pictures and the Coalition the words. Kevin striding out in the sunshine with his open neck shirt beat John Howard in his suit with a background of kids. Treasurer Peter Costello with his cameo performance showed why it is that politicians should be wary of letting kids ask questions. You cannot get prickly with them as you can with proper journalists.

When it came to what was reported of what the politicians said yesterday the Coalition would be pleased enough. The environmental subject matter was supposedly the stuff on which Labor thrives but the ABC current affairs programs along with The Australian found some chinks in the party’s story on what Australia’s attitude should be to the international agreement to follow the one negotiated at Kyoto which John Howard refused to ratify.

The cumulative points scored in the Daily Verdict presents the following picture:

Labor’s lead is clear but not insurmountable if the Coalition campaigners can start getting their pictures right. Having a smiling John Howard last night on The 7.30 Report was a good idea even though it looked a bit forced. The PM was much better on today’s morning walk along the banks of the Yarra as this picture from The Age website shows.

And the tracksuit suits him better than the shorts which he paraded last week when the Swan River was the background.

You will find details of the way the Daily Verdict is compiled, with the help of raw material provided by our friends at Media Monitors, on the Crikey website.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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