Not much change atop our coverage chart this week, though the resurrection of Kevin Rudd’s knifing (yawn) thanks to the Maxine McKew book launch sees him edge closer to our main protagonists with twice the media mentions of anyone else but Treasurer Wayne Swan. Not bad going when you consider he’s more than six months out of a job of any importance.

Indeed, with Labor’s primary vote up three points to 36% and the Coalition down four points to 41% in the latest Newspoll — and the second 50-50 two-party-preferred result within three polls — most of the press gallery, who assured us Julia Gillard would not see the year out as leader, will be eating humble mince-pie for Christmas.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott might need to start putting out some policies earlier than he would have liked to change the conversation, currently focused on his attitude toward women, while the Greens appear to have dropped the baton in the leadership handover. Our analysis shows this uptick for Gillard to be reflected both in social media and the bastion of conservatism that is talkback radio.

This correlates with a southern resurgence in Labor support that sees Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu under fire for a lack of leadership and his defence of embattled MP Geoff Shaw’s “wanker” claims, but flying back into our top 20 by criticising the federal government on emergency services bandwidth and apologising for forced adoptions in Victoria between 1950s and 1970s.

Transport Minister Anthony Albanese made news pushing for Senator Don Farrell to step aside for Finance Minister Penny Wong on the SA Senate ticket, while Barnaby Joyce questioned the funding of both the revised Murray-Darling Basin plan and for Asian studies to become a core part of Australian school curriculum.

Crikey Political Index: October 24-30

The Craig Thomson police raid provided plenty of fodder for the talkback cannons.

Talkback top five

Commensurate to his power, K-Rudd remains the social media king — the death of his cat this week rocked the Twittisphere.

Social media top five

In the world of MotoGP, none can deny Stoner the loner always did it his way. Good to see the double world champ retiring with a win at his home GP at Phillip Island.

Comparison on media mentions

Peter Fray

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