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Dec 19, 2012

Sentia Media index: the pollies who won the media in 2012

Julia Gillard won plenty more media mentions than Tony Abbott in 2012, but the talkback radio and social media buzz was mostly negative. Sentia Media's index tracks the year that was.

John Chalmers

iSentia group communications manager

Back in 2010, it was close to a three-way tie at the top of our annual Top 20, with Tony Abbott wedged between the two prime ministers of that year, cursing that he hadn’t become the third.

By the end of last year Abbott’s party had moved to a commanding lead in the polls, but there had 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.

This year Julia Gillard maintains that gap and, despite a leadership spill in late February, defied the press gallery to see the year out with her position at the top intact. All of which leaves us with the same top four politicians for three years straight.

For despite spending most of the year on the back benches, Kevin Rudd again managed to get more media mentions than Treasurer Wayne Swan, as poor polls for the ALP early on kept the ultimately unfulfilled Kevin 11 campaign alive for a time.

The biggest movers were no real surprise: Queensland Premier Campbell Newman, whose crushing election victory over Anna Bligh sees the latter in 11th place despite her March retirement, and whose spending cuts have kept him in the headlines ever since, and the pair mired by political scandal: MP Craig Thomson and former speaker Peter Slipper. The most notable omission goes to Christine Milne, suggesting the Greens needed Brown to stay relevant.

Crikey Political Index: January-December

Talkback was all Gillard and almost all unflattering, while Abbott was a big talking point in his own right and the sentiment around him was slightly more positive. But overall, no one’s happy with anyone. Hmmph.

Talkback top five

It’s here that Abbott gets closest to the PM, with K-Rudd, that social media darling, still in the fray.

Social media top five

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