NATIONALS leader Warren Truss has said he is confident he will be deputy prime minister in an Abbott government, despite plans by the high-profile Barnaby Joyce to move to the lower house at the election.
Mr Truss said yesterday he would not need to fight Senator Joyce for the job. "Barnaby Joyce and I are good friends, working colleagues," he told the Ten Network.
Senator Joyce has his eyes on the federal seat of Maranoa, in Queensland, held by the Nationals' former minister, Bruce Scott. Mr Scott has been reluctant to announce his retirement but is expected to do so in the coming months.
When asked, Mr Truss dodged endorsing Senator Joyce for the seat: "I welcome his capacity to make a contribution to the House of Representatives. It is up to him to choose the pathway that would get him to that position."