Last night on the AFL 360 show Gerard Whateley and Mark Robinson summed up the election: “It’s been a crap election campaign”. I think that’s right - it has been very difficult to maintain interest in the campaign.
The media have given it a red-hot go - after all they have to cover the election but still attract eye-balls. The team at Sky News have done a magnificent job in covering the election. That a small under-resourced organisation could maintain coverage of such a high standard for so long is a credit to them.
For the rest of the media election coverage has fallen off somewhat. The election does seem to have fallen off the front pages and moved ever further into the papers. I don’t blame them - one side of politics has not been competitive.
In time we might look back and wonder what “that” was all about? By “that” I mean the return of Kevin Rudd. Yesterday the Financial Review was reporting that he might have saved a net two seats compared to expectation that the ALP would only win 49 seats under Julia Gillard.
This last week much of the coverage has been the composition of the Senate and whether Tony Abbott will be able to implement his policies. The battle for government was clearly over.
In the wash up the media will be blamed, of course, for not giving the (former) government good coverage, or being biased, or whatever. But the media have no obligation to run political campaigns on behalf of political parties. The media can only work with what they get given - the government seemed to be under-prepared for the election.
To be fair Mr Rudd returned to the job with only weeks to spare, but nonetheless the government must have been planning for the election for months.