Barnaby Joyce is deputy leader of the National Party. In a newspaper interview this afternoon he indicated that the National’s agreement with the Liberals would be endangered if Abbott is dumped. He said the coalition agreement was made between the Nationals and Tony Abbott.
“What I say to my colleagues in the Liberal party is this: we didn’t want this. We gave you fair warning,” Mr Joyce told the Leader. “Do not consider that the National party support is without question. If all of a sudden a different person is walking down the aisle towards us, don’t necessarily think the wedding is still on.”
My guess is that Joyce would be strongly opposed to Malcolm Turnbull being Abbott’s replacement. Maybe not so much if Scott Morrison is the new leader. However Morrison has just released a statement saying if there is a leadership spill, he will not be standing for leader or deputy leader.
No such statement so far from Julie Bishop or Malcolm Turnbull. Bishop has made a statement saying she opposes the spill motion for reasons of “cabinet solidarity and her deputy leadership position”. This is seen by some commentators as a cryptic statement that does not show the required support for Abbott’s leadership.