BARNABY is back.
New England MP Barnaby Joyce has reclaimed the leadership of the Nationals in a spill motion on Monday, effectively forcing a cabinet reshuffle as Prime Minister Scott Morrison isolates in the lodge after attending the G7 in England.
Party whip Damian Drum confirmed the party was "going through the various situations" to affirm Mr Joyce, and said Mr Joyce would address the media later today.
David Littleproud is expected to retain the party's deputy leadership.
"Nothing has changed except for the position of leader," Mr Drum said.
A spill motion launched within the party room on Monday deposed Michael McCormack from the leadership.
Matt Canavan reportedly launched the motion that brought Mr Joyce back to prominence in the Coalition government.
The move had been tipped over the weekend across social media, but Mr McCormack told reporters "whatever will be will be" as he headed in to the meeting that ultimately ended his tenure.
"I'm quoting Doris Day there," he said.
Mr Joyce had earlier pointed to the Hunter as one of several battlegrounds in the federal election, which could come as early as the end of this year.
"The issue is the next election ... it's going to be one in three places, the Hunter Valley ... Central Queensland and in and around Darwin."
Before the spill, Mr Morrison - who is in quarantine at The Lodge - threw his support behind the incumbent.
"I've got a wonderful partnership with Michael. We've worked very closely together and provided great stable leadership for Australia," he told 2GB radio.
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese accused the Nationals of "a vote of no-confidence in their own government" and acting out of self-interest in the spill action.
"This will just be a reminder that this government is not on the side of the Australian people; they're on their own side," he said.
Mr Albanese also rebutted questions about Labor's unity, referring to Hunter MP Joel Fitzgibbon in affirming they were entirely united.
"The fact is Joel Fitzgibbon sits on the back bench of my party," he said.
"On a day like today, to get the biggest bow you can get ... and then try to run on that. The fact is there's chaos on the other side."
- with AAP