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Bye Bye Barnaby - again? Nationals leadership in chaos for the second time in 12 months

Updated: May 30, 2022

The party will meet in Canberra on Monday where they will discuss the leadership joining forward.

It has barely been a week since the federal election dealt the Coalition a rather poor result, with voting swings in most electorates - however, the Nationals have not come off as badly as the Liberal Party, retaining every seat they contested and also picking up a seat in the Senate.

Leader Barnaby Joyce told reporters that "even in seats that were at risk, we held them."

And already a leadership spill may be on the horizon for the Nationals.

Not even a year since Barnaby Joyce was sworn as Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader, the Former Minister of Veterans Affairs, Darren Chester is going to challenge Joyce's leadership - saying it is “time for change.”

Often seen as one of the more moderate members of the party, he said in a statement on Facebook:

"For the Nationals to connect better with younger and female voters in the future, we need to recognise the diversity of views in our regional areas and I believe I can do that."

"After each election, it's a natural transition point for the party and leadership roles are declared vacant. It's healthy for the democratic process."

He also told Nine newspapers on Monday that he’s "not here to tip a bucket on Barnaby Joyce, he’s the leader and has done the best he can do."

Who else may contest the role?

The party's deputy leader, David Littleproud, has confirmed he will run for the role and there's some speculation that former leader Michael McCormack may also contest the job.

They will discuss this on Monday at their party meeting.

Watch the full report here.

Check out the latest impartial coverage of the 2022 Federal Election here.

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