Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders said he is "not making any comment" on reports he is planning to make a bid for Nationals leadership when the party goes to a vote tomorrow.
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Asked whether he could confirm or deny various reports in the media that he would be challenging Nationals leader Paul Toole for the top job when the party opens the ballot for leader on Wednesday, Mr Saunders remained tight-lipped.
All party leadership positions will be on the table at tomorrow's meeting, the first time the party has come together since last month's election.
Mr Toole has been leader of the Nationals party since 2021 following the resignation of a scandal-ridden John Barilaro. He successfully won a leadership contest against former member for Oxley Melinda Pavey, with 15 votes to 3.
The position of deputy leader - currently held by former minister for women and minister for rural health Bronnie Taylor - will also be elected in tomorrow's vote. There are no confirmed challengers for the role.
The potential leadership change comes after the coalition lost nine seats to Labor and independents and failed to reform government in the March state election.
The Nationals were hoping to regain seats held by former Shooters, Fishers and Farmers members in Barwon, Orange and Murray, however, all of these seats were retained by the sitting members, now Independents.
"It's been a great result for the Nats but we have some work to do, we always need to be doing more and getting better," Mr Saunders said, commenting on the Nationals performance at the election.
"But I think we've shown that we can continue to and we want to represent the regions because we're the party that does that."
The Daily Liberal reached out to Mr Saunders to ask about his potential leadership challenge and was told by his staff; "at this point he is not making any comment".
Mr Saunders was first voted into the seat of Dubbo with a narrow margin in 2019 after sitting member Troy Grant retired. Since being elected into office, he has served as the Minister for Agriculture and the Minister for Western New South Wales under Dominic Perrottet.
This year he retained his seat, beating out Labor challenger Josh Black 69.4 percent to 30.6 percent on a two-party preferred basis - a 1.3 percent swing in the Nationals favour.
ACM have contacted Paul Toole and Bronnie Taylor for comment but have not received a response as of publication.
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