Feb 26, 2018

Nats tap McCormack to warm seat for Joyce

The relatively unknown Michael McCormack is Australia's new deputy Prime Minister. But how long will his damaged predecessor be content to wait on the backbench?

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

National junior minister and MP for the south-western NSW seat of Riverina, Michael McCormack, is Australia’s new deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure after being elected to lead the Nationals this morning. An attempt to manage the unchallenged election of McCormack fell apart when Queensland LNP member George Christensen also stood for the leadership.

In the subsequent Nationals group photo, former leader Barnaby Joyce stood at the back, red-faced and scowling, as his little-known successor fielded questions about whether he was merely keeping the seat warm for Joyce.

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12 thoughts on “Nats tap McCormack to warm seat for Joyce

  1. Rais

    The man who removed Joyce from what he may regard as his rightful place is Barnaby Joyce, nobody else. Is McCormack a seat-warmer for Joyce? That’s been said before about pollies who turned out to be capable enough on their own account.

    1. MAC TEZ

      No doubt that BJ De-throned himself but the former vitriolic homophobe McCormack will likely turn out to only be capable of babbling out the same populist dribble we’ve come to expect from his predecessor !

  2. [email protected]

    In actual fact a review of the results of the 2016 federal election show there was a substantial swing of 3.5% away from the Nats in Queensland where four of their seats are now held by only a slender margin and a lesser swing of 2.6% against them in NSW also. Perhaps Barnaby’s days as leader were over prior to his current problems emerging? Time will tell if the new leader can lift their performance in both policy and real outcomes for rural and regional Australia and win back credibility.

    1. Norm

      I live in regional Australia, and the Country Party (which is what it still is) has never represented me. It represents rural Australia, and I wish it, and deluded journalists, would stop claiming otherwise.

  3. MJM

    ” …. unless Joyce suffers politically terminal damage from the scandals currently surrounding him …”
    I suspect the damage is terminal. From family (including former farmers), friends, neighbours and former colleagues I hear only derision for BJ. The basis for this scorn varies but together it amounts to universal condemnation.
    Not that I think much of McCormack either. Nats might be a spent force?

  4. AR

    I think that his moderate & considered views on shirt lifters from a couple of decades back would still be echoed by most gNat voters though probably dismissed as too mild by half.
    If Barnyard demonstrated anything (discuss) it is that there is no low too low to go to for those looking for what he retailed (pun not intended).

    1. Dog's Breakfast

      Fair enough comment AR.

      I tend to think that Barnaby will be an electoral stumbling block in the regions for the rest of his days. I doubt there is a wife in any nats electorate who will forget in a hurry, and they have powers of persuasion. I think MJM might be on the money.

      But Barnaby is a legend in his own mind, and no ambition is beyond him.

      1. AR

        DG – I too expected the women of NE in December to have shown their outrage over his well known – daughters with a loudhailer on a ute through the streets of Tamwrth – proclivities but, also, not so.

  5. klewso

    What happened to “Deputy McKenzie” getting the star?
    Catch her on Insiders yesterday? Like watching one of those robot Olympic skiers – this one a programmed automaton cat trying to cough up fur balls of gNatty thought bubbles before she forgets them, no matter the point?
    “Tokens don’t count”?

    1. MAC TEZ

      I always welcome your wisdom and wicked wit Klewie and while I happily missed Insiders yesterday, the mere suggestion of the Nits of all parties with a chick in charge (if you stop for a millisecond to think about it) is in itself frickin’ hilarious !

  6. klewso

    And how obtuse is Chester (“by far the Nationals’ best ministerial performer”?) – last Friday (7:30) when Fanning asked him if anyone had spoken to Jethro re his behaviour and it’s potential for political fall-out, he said the first he knew of it was when he saw that picture of the pregnant Vicki Campion on the front page of that paper?
    What about when the whole clown troupe was in New England to campaign for him? …. “Durwood” didn’t notice anything “untoward” then when they were “on the road”?
    What other explanation could there be for that “explanation”…..

  7. Itsarort

    Clearly Barnaby is a much bigger liability to the Coalition than the Nat’s. Nat’ voters don’t care about how quirky or dodgy their members are, they’ve only got two jobs: go to church on Sunday, and have strong penchant for tea-leafing the public purse for agrarian welfare. However, News and the Lib’s could see that BJ’s skeleton’s in the closet could easily be a major distraction for the Coalition. So, “This is the ‘crisis’ we had to have.” before the next election – it’s that simple.

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