Barnaby falls in behind Nationals leader

Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has hosed down speculation he will again challenge Michael McCormack.
Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce has hosed down speculation he will again challenge Michael McCormack.

Barnaby Joyce is hosing down speculation of a second tilt at the Nationals leadership after failing to topple Michael McCormack a fortnight ago.

The vanquished mutineer insists he is now fully focused on getting the coalition re-elected in 2022.

"There will be a McCormack-Morrison government going to the next election," Mr Joyce told the Seven Network on Monday.

"In a democracy, you have the opportunity to test the numbers, that was tested, it was close.

"I stood, I lost, that's it and now we move on."

Mr McCormack has declared he will not change party rules after the unexpected challenge and will lead the Nationals to the next election.

"I want a McCormack-Morrison government to do the very best job they can," Mr Joyce said.

"By the time you've finished hearing me say that, you'll think it's a new actor in Hollywood: McCormack Morrison."

Australian Associated Press