It takes annual leave by the Prime Minister, a promise to “turn back the boats” or a flight of fancy from the floors of Parliament for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott to claim top spot on our media coverage chart; this week he shaded the PM but — despite her absence for most of the week — only just.

With Julia Gillard on leave, Abbott used the political oxygen to reject the Finkelstein review and accuse the government of using regulatory intimidation to quiet critics, describing it as “state-sponsored bullying”. Likewise, Treasurer Wayne Swan roared into third spot following his musical messaging to the ALP heartland as acting-PM, gaining much TV and press coverage for his continued attack on mining magnates Clive Palmer and Gina Rinehart.

Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings went north on our list in support of gay marriage, and in denying Tasmanian forestry is headed towards meltdown with Gunns’ $2.3 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill project on the rocks. Meanwhile, Shadow Minister for Regional Development Barnaby Joyce and Nationals leader Warren Truss made the media over their distrust in foreign investment, while Sports Minister Kate Lundy came from nowhere to feature thanks to gargantuan Olympic coverage.

Crikey Political Index 2-8 August 2012

Social Media Top Five:

Bill Shorten walks into a pie shop …



Our champion hurdler Sally Pearson picked up gold, along with more Australian media coverage than Usain Bolt and the PM over the past week.