When you are hot you are hot and the Labor Party campaign received another free-kick at the weekend with the release by the United Nations of the summary paper on climate change prepared for delegates before the talk-fest to be held in Bali a week after the Australian election. The message of impending doom and gloom fitted in well with Labor’s talk about this issue during the campaign.

Perhaps the real beneficiaries in terms of votes will be the Greens, who for the first time in their history are actually spending money on television advertising, but Labor will not mind that. A good performance by the party of the left is vital to avoid having to deal with Liberals and Nationals to get anything through the Senate.

For Prime Minister John Howard the UN can join the Auditor General and the Reserve Bank Board on the list of impediments to a well ordered election campaign. Every time Mr Howard appears poised to get people thinking about the perversity of throwing out a government that has presided over such prosperity something crops up to divert attention elsewhere.

All the PM can do is just keep on walking and talking and hope for a change of fortune. Goodness knows, Labor has had more than its fair share during the last five weeks and it is reflected in the pattern of Crikey’s Daily Verdict. Labor has clearly won all but the first week of the campaign.

The Daily Verdicts over the weekend were:

Day 33 – Friday 16 November
Coalition ALP
Television 0.23 1.43
Newspapers 0.00 0.14
Radio 0.17 0.49
Internet 0.12 0.22
TOTAL 0.52 2.28
Day 34 – Saturday 17 November
Coalition ALP
Television 1.83 1.71
Newspapers 0.38 0.24
Radio 0.40 0.39
Internet 0.11 0.31
TOTAL 2.72 2.66
Day 35 – Sunday 18 November
Coalition ALP
Television 1.24 1.44
Newspapers 0.16 0.44
Radio 0.45 0.50
Internet 0.18 0.16
TOTAL 2.03 2.54

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.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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