Barnaby Joyce

Does anyone not know how the coming weeks and months will play out for the Nationals leadership?

The Nats may have their own tweaks on the process -- like not revealing the numbers in the leadership ballot, thereby letting all sides make self-serving claims -- but we've already seen the rituals we've grown so used to since 2010, when Labor, to its eternal shame, began the process of knifing serving leaders while in government.

The pre-spill posturing. The careful leaking of fake vote counts ahead of the ballot. The pro forma declarations of unity from the winner and loyalty from the challenger -- even if Barnaby Joyce's Cincinnatian pledge to return to his farm was as unhinged as most of his public statements.