When you are well behind with five days to go everything in your campaign needs to go right. That did not happen for the Coalition yesterday.
The deadpan summaries of the news provided by our friends at Media Monitors tell the story of another day of missed opportunities for John Howard and his team.

ABC TV: The political spotlight was on climate change and John Howard’s future today. John Howard has fended off criticism from within his own party that vested interests had stopped him ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. He also insisted that Peter Costello will be the only candidate to succeed him when he leaves politics.

Kevin Rudd appeared on Rove Live to make his pitch to the youth vote. John Howard and Peter Costello held a joint appearance on tabloid TV today, in a scene reminiscent of the joint appearance of Paul Keating and Bob Hawke when they were having their own succession strife.

Peter Debnam, NSW Shadow Minister for Infrastructure and Energy, says he wishes the Liberal Party had ratified Kyoto long ago because when Australia could have lead the world with bold initiatives and clean energy.

Seven News: The Howard Government has taken legal action to stop Seven News revealing secret options the government was considering for WorkChoices. The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet developed a number of reforms for WorkChoices in 2005. John Howard, Australian Prime Minister and Peter Costello, Federal Treasurer will appear in a joint interview on Today Tonight this evening. A school girl fainted during a press conference held by Kevin Rudd, Federal Opposition Leader, ALP today.

Nine News: John Howard, Australian Prime Minister, has been embarrassed by division in Coalition ranks with Peter Debnam, NSW Shadow Minister for Energy, attacking him on his failure to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change. A schoolgirl fainted as Kevin Rudd, Federal Opposition Leader, ALP, addressed the media. John Howard, Australian Prime Minister, says there are good prospects of doing well in WA.

Peter Debnam, NSW Shadow Minister for Energy, says he wishes we had ratified Kyoto. Howard says he does not agree with Debnam. Rudd says Debnam has said what reasonable, plain speaking Australians are saying. A McNair Poll shows Joe Hockey, Federal Minister for Workplace Relations, is in danger of defeat.

Ten News: Global warming has scorched John Howard’s campaign at the start of the final week. A senior Liberal has broken ranks, blaming vested interest for blocking the Coalition’s ratification of the Kyoto agreement. Meanwhile, a student has fainted during a news conference by Kevin Rudd, Fed Oppn leader.

Rudd says that if he wins on Saturday, he will immediately ratify Kyoto and represent Aust at the international climate change conference in Bali next month. The annual report of the PM’s dept has revealed the govt last year spent a quarter of a billion dollars on advertising, which does not include millions more spent on WorkChoices in July.

The television news really was a story of woe for the Coalition and even the happy chappies getting their free kick on Seven’s Today Tonight could not wipe out the deficit.

The newspapers this morning gave a good run to that Howard and Costello show with some favourable headlines but the radio had gone strongly Labor’s way throughout Monday.

The Daily Verdict:

Coalition ALP
Televisio 1.15 1.80
Newspapers 0.32 0.09
Radio 0.34 0.52
Internet 0.11 0.17
TOTAL 1.92 2.58

The path of Labor’s ever increasing campaign lead is shown in this graph of the Daily Verdict:


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
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