There were further signs over the weekend that people are at last beginning to take a real interest in the election. Political stories on websites are being read in increasing numbers.

This offers hope to the Coalition just at the time when the pundits are swinging around to saying that it has little or no chance.

Capitalising on the interest will take, however, more discipline than has been shown in the campaign so far. Prime Minister John Howard needs no more distractions like that provided by Tony Abbott with his comments on the abolition of the “protections” for workers under the Work Choice laws. There is time now for only a couple of simple messages – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and we’ll put money back in your pocket and Labor will take it out.

Left to his own devices on Saturday, Mr Howard stuck to these simple themes. He should keep doing so and disregard the advice of those on his campaign team who yesterday had him darting off on another tangent pretending to be tough on crime and drug takers. Comments like those just lead the Government even further away from the theme of sound economic management which remains its only chance of snatching an unlikely victory.



The graph of the Crikey daily Reality Check study of what people are actually reading on internet news sites, shows the dramatic rise in election interest in the last four days. With people (many of them for the first time) now beginning to notice what the politicians say, the constant repetition of the potentially vote winning themes becomes ever more important.

Sydney Morning Herald

  1. Lib heartland slips away
  2. Kidman puts the record straight
  3. Suspect’s joy after dumping child
  4. Disabled son may see his family deported
  5. Amputee Ferreira overcomes the odds

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Vaile in last-ditch pork barrel

Sat: History about to repeat itself – in reverse

Sun: Rudd’s winning plan

The Age

  1. Rescuers free trapped Ballarat goldminers
  2. Student banned by airline poses for Playboy
  3. Turnbull’s seat on a knife edge
  4. BHP employee killed in Angola copter crash
  5. PM-Brethren letters held until after poll

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Desperately seeking Kevin Sat – Missing the mark

Sun: Calamity John: Howard faces massive defeat

Sun: Regrets, the Deputy PM’s had a few

Sun: Brace for a Rudd-slide

The Australian

  1. Labor in front, but it’s tight
  2. Road rage shifts Tarkine to…
  3. PM blitz on addict welfare
  4. Mine collapse triggers…
  5. Musharraf plays ‘loose nukes’ card

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Rudd on course for victory

Sat: Blainey ire over PM’s history prize

Sat: Vaile attacks auditor’s office

Sat: Young drawn to currents of change

Sun: Rudd on course for victory

Sun: Blainey ire over PM’s history priz

Sun: Vaile attacks auditor’s office


  • Turnbull to lose Wentworth: poll
  • BHP executives killed in chopper crash
  • Howard attacks Rudd on mining boom
  • Howard to withhold welfare from drug offenders
  • Coalition “cannot win” in Iraq or Afghanistan

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Protesters thrown out of PM address

Sat: Poll shows Labor winning marginals

Sat: Labor denies doctoring Abbott video

Sat: Spending doubled in Coalition seat: report

Sun: Polls predict Labor to win in key seats

Sun: Climate change report ‘terrifying’

Sun: Howard ups media events after pressure from journos

The West Australian

  1. Shark attack in WA’s north-west
  2. Isabel Lucas wanted by Japanese police over whale protest
  3. Port Coogee auction attracts hundreds
  4. Cousins to face AFL Commission this morning
  5. Waterfront prices soar but other suburbs slump

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Rudd, Beazley unite to launch Labor’s WA campaign

Sydney Telegraph

  1. Civil warfare threatens Liberals
  2. Mason-Folkes feud expands
  3. Missy Higgins comes out
  4. Model’s s-x and drug snare
  5. Australian breasts in…

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sun: Kevin Rudd will win election – just

Sun: Why Kevin deserves a chance

Melbourne Herald Sun

  1. Christi ties the knot
  2. Right Brain v Left Brain
  3. African dinosaur unveiled
  4. Rudd relaxed on Rove
  5. Jessica joins Timberlake

No political stories over the weekend:


  1. 9000 in tax cheat net
  2. Catwalk career for Cousins
  3. BHP boss killed
  4. Dying river ‘betrayed’
  5. Deadly summer for SA

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Union man runs at PM

Sun: Pyne’s wife in plea to women

Courier Mail

  1. Schoolies chaos sparks review
  2. Symantha’s migraine guilt
  3. Rodeo death shocks fans
  4. Kevin Rudd woos home state
  5. Boy charged over police bashing

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sat: Warming worse than predicted

Sat: Mayor sickened by Labor

Sun: Howard closes the gap

  1. Bosnich’s ex-girlfriend exposed…
  2. Aussie star faces arrest over…
  3. Corby, Gauci hit back at Dicko
  4. Mark Waugh and wife in nasty…
  5. Missy comes clean about love

Other political stories over the weekend:

Sun: UN finds climate truth ‘terrifying’

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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