Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has staved off Barnaby Joyce to remain leader of the Nationals Party, with David Littleproud ascending to the role of deputy party leader role after a fractious party room meeting.

What this means for you boils down to this: the guy who recently said climate change concerns are the realm of “raving inner city lunatics” defeated a challenge from the guy who said God is the only one who can solve the issue. Plus, the fella who once said he doesn’t care if climate change is manmade fills the gap left by sports rort overseer Bridget McKenzie. 

“It’s a great honour and a privilege to continue to serve as the leader of the National Party,” McCormack reportedly told the media at Parliament House after the spill.

When asked about the likelihood of Joyce re-challenging for the leadership spot, which he lost in 2018 after an affair with a former staffer and his denial of a sexual harassment allegation, McCormack said he’s now been endorsed for the role three times: when Joyce stepped down, at the 2019 election, and today.

“I think that is enough to warrant me leading the party going forward,” McCormack said.

Given Joyce’s burning urge to retain that leadership role, don’t expect this to be the last serious challenge against McCormack’s reign. His leadership is even more precarious if you take the margin into account: political journo Peter Van Onselen reports McCormack survived thanks to a razor-thin 11-10 result.

Not a ringing endorsement, if that’s the case.

While that speculation is kicking about, The Advertiser reports party whip Damian Drum refused to disclose the official results.

Meanwhile, Littleproud said “The shenanigans are over”.

But are they? Are they really?

Image: Mick Tsikas / AAP Image