With News Corp having taken the high road of turning politics into salacious supermarket magazine sex gossip, the other media outlets in Australia paused for all of a few hours and then dived in head-first. Those tabloid editors may feel it’s the only way to get any punter interest in politics at the moment, with disengagement rife as the government continues to try to keep the focus on counter-terrorism and the task of following the endless and ever more Byzantine budget negotiations.

In real news, Opposition Immigration Spokesperson Richard Marles seemed to indicate that the party was no longer opposed to turning back boats if acceptable to the Indonesian government, while Immigration Minister Scott Morrison didn’t have too long to enjoy that coverage before more claims of abuse in detention centres emerged, this time from Nauru.

PUP Leader Clive Palmer jumped in the rankings, mainly owing to the various previously mentioned Byzantine budget deals, talking tough on uni cuts but a bit more amenable on Direct Action, while also throwing in a few of his regular barbs about Queensland Premier Campbell Newman. And finally Victorian Premier Denis Napthine and Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews moved up the list as we get into the final month of campaigning before that state’s election.

Crikey Political Index: October 23-29

The Australian public, on both talkback and online social channels, have been taking less and less interest in politicians over the past few weeks, with voter disengagement seeming to have filtered up to even the hard core.

Talkback Top Five

Tony Abbott was down below 40,000 mentions for the first time in months.

Social Media Top Five

The Canadian Serjeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers was the unlikely hero in an extraordinary day of drama in Ottawa.

Comparison of media mentions

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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