Barnaby Joyce ‘not really’ sad to have been ousted as Nationals leader

Barnaby Joyce has declared he is "not really" sad to have been ousted as Nationals leader following a party room meeting today.

The one-time Deputy Prime Minister shared a frank statement online following his defeat, in which he said he would now have more time to advocate for his electorate of New England.

David Littleproud won the top job from Joyce in a three-way party contest late this morning, with Victorian MP Darren Chester also contesting the leadership.

READ MORE: Dutton elected Liberal leader as David Littleproud defeats Joyce for Nationals job

Joyce has since released a statement online, and tweeted a video of him speaking the statement, which begins, "I suppose you think I am sad. Not really".

"I gave every ounce of my energy to make sure that I looked after the people of regional Australia," he said.

"I want to congratulate David, Perin and Bridget.

"They have a mighty task ahead of them and I will give them all the support I can."

Joyce went on to say he would now have the chance to get back to "his second greatest love" after his family – his "beloved people of New England".

READ MORE: Albanese and Labor still one seat from majority government

Joyce appeared optimistic he would keep the top Nationals job this morning before the party vote.

When asked if he thought he has the numbers to retain the leadership, Joyce told 9News he was "very sanguine" about the vote and that "people in the room will make up their minds".

When asked who he thinks would be his best replacement, Joyce said: "I don't know. Jesus? Mohammad? That's a very good question."

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