Controversial Australian politician Barnaby Joyce has been elected leader of the Nationals in a dramatic party spill that restores him to the position of Deputy Prime Minister after he prevailed against Michael McCormack.
Joyce defeated McCormack in a party room ballot this morning following days of speculation about the Nationals' leadership.
The outcome is likely to harden the party's position against further action on climate change out of concern in the party room that the Nationals were not pushing strongly against Prime Minister Scott Morrison's talk of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.
McCormack earlier warned any challenger they would have to "blast him out" and urged his critics, including Joyce, to think long and hard about their political futures.
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Speaking in Canberra this morning just an hour before the scheduled party room meeting, McCormack warned his colleagues that voters were sick of drama and wanted the Nationals to get on with the job.
"If they want to bring any spills they will have to think about that," he said. "If I survive then … they should think long and hard."
Joyce will return to the job three years after he resigned as deputy prime minister following a politically damaging saga that began with his affair with former staffer Vikki Campion.
Joyce and his wife subsequently separated and he and Campion now have two children together.
Joyce also briefly lost his parliamentary seat in October 2017 when it was revealed he held dual Australian-New Zealand citizenship and therefore wasn't eligible to hold office.
He quickly renounced his New Zealand citizenship, and on December 2, 2017, Joyce won his seat back with a healthy majority.