If desperate politicians really do try desperate things – and John Howard pretending that a sixth interest rate rise since promising to keep them at record lows suggests he is in that category – then Rove Live next Sunday night should be worth watching.

The PM has a standing invitation to appear on this politically influential program and if it is good enough for Jana Wendt it should be good enough for him. The only tricky question would be nominating who he would turn gay for, but the PM has a team of scriptwriters who think they can make that indefensible broken interest rate promise defensible so he should be able to handle it. And it is the young Australians who gain their primary political insights from Rove and the Chaser that the Coalition desperately needs to attract.

It is those under 25s, the pollsters keep telling us, who are turning against John Howard in droves. Seeing that the old fellow can actually laugh at himself would surely do no harm.

Last night Rove was even quite even handed. Jana Wendt, in a guest role reading the news before plugging her new book, beautifully delivered the Coalition some clever back handers but the host himself took the mickey out of Kevin Rudd by featuring that ear wax eating video.

On my reckoning it was this little squirm maker that gave the Coalition its third win in a row on Crikey’s The Daily Verdict, albeit with the narrowest of narrow margins.

Coalition ALP
Television 1.83 1.72
Newspapers 0.02 0.13
Radio 0.49 0.30
Internet 0.00 0.17
TOTAL 2.34 2.32

What the Coalition has managed to do over the last few days is stop the slide against it. The betting market, which Crikey’s Election Indicator monitors using the prices at the Betfair betting exchange, reflects the same thing.

The graph below compares both of these Crikey Indicators and the way they appear to be moving in unison.


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.