Last year it was close to a three-way tie at the top, with Tony Abbott wedged between the two prime ministers of 2010, at the end of the year doubtless still cursing that he hadn’t become the third prime minister of 2010. At the end of this year Abbott’s party has moved to a commanding lead in the polls, but there has been only one Prime Minister and she received roughly twice as much coverage as the Opposition Leader, in something approaching a more normal media split.
Kevin Rudd still managed to get almost 100,000 more media mentions than Wayne Swan this year, as the terrible polls for the government kept the ultimately unfulfilled Kevin 11 campaign alive. Kevin 12? It still seems fanciful, despite Julia Gillard’s end-of-year stumble with the cabinet reshuffle
The biggest movers were no real surprise, the new NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell and Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, the former still riding high and the latter enduring an annus horribilus somehow relatively intact. Greg Combet, as the driver of the key piece of legislation for the year (some would argue the century), was the other obvious move up the list.
Perhaps the more interesting list is those who have fallen off and those who didn’t quite make it. Apart from the beaten
Premiers of 2010, gone from the top 20, and reputedly only hanging onto their cabinet posts by the skin of their teeth, were Peter Garrett and Chris Evans. Also out was Bob Katter, strongly outmedia-ed by newcomer Andrew Wilkie -- the direct result of being a government number rather than a coalition number on the floor of Parliament and being willing to use that for all its worth (and perhaps more).
Others to more surprisingly miss out were Nicola Roxon (21) as health took a bit of a back seat to the carbon tax and asylum seekers and Barnaby Joyce (24) whose somewhat one-paced schtick may be getting a little old for all the media types who found him so entertaining in 2010.
And who are going to be the new chums on the list in 2012? We’re willing to punt on two names as just about dead certainties -- Bill Shorten and Peter Slipper.
Talkback was all Julia and almost all unflattering, while Abbott was the favoured pinata online. Overall no one’s happy with anyone. I suppose no one out there has noticed how bad everyone else’s politicians are in comparison to ours?