Volumes much lower this week, with much of the media moving on quickly from the no spill result to get onto more pressing matters like the cricket World Cup, but in terms of political coverage it remains all about Prime Minister Tony Abbott, the PM receiving five times as much coverage as his nearest rival (literally as well as figuratively?), Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Much of Abbott and Bishop’s coverage surrounded the now very public pressure being put on the Indonesian government to reconsider carrying out the death penalty sentence on Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, with the government clearly deciding that the window for behind the scenes diplomacy to have any success is now past.

The other main federal issue of the week was the sacking of “father of the House” Philip Ruddock from the Chief Whip position, which immediately brought public criticism from some on the backbench and praise from others. The media’s take on his removal was that Abbott felt that he should have been made more aware of growing backbench displeasure, and that his votes weren’t effectively whipped before the spill motion.

Meanwhile in state politics, Annastacia Palaszczuk has finally been sworn in as Queensland premier, as head of a minority government that will have confidence on the floor of parliament thanks to the support of Independent Peter Wellington, and the NSW election campaign continued its long build up towards the late March poll.

 Crikey Political Index: February 12-18

Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull a clear second place in talkback mentions this week, with plenty of “why doesn’t he just join the ALP?” comments still doing the rounds.

Talkback Top Five

Social media numbers almost halved for the PM this week, but around 116,000 comments were largely maintaining the rage, with anyone else still more than five times behind.

Social Media Top Five

While touring cricket fans have been exuberantly enjoying the start of the World Cup, and Australians delighted in thumping the old enemy, much of the local media remains obsessed with the Michael Clarke, will he play? won’t he play? should he retire? debate. Can’t we all just get on with enjoying the cricket?

Comparison of media mentions

Peter Fray

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