NATIONALS leader Mark Vaile is contemplating resigning from his role and moving to the backbench.
The former deputy prime minister is expected to make an announcement about his future at a press conference in Canberra to be held at 2pm.
The Australian understands Mr Vaile has been considering a move to the back bench in the wake of his party’s drubbing in Saturday night’s poll.
Despite hoping to gain two seats to increase its representation to 14 in the federal parliament, the Nationals failed to hold two seats – Dawson and Page – and failed to win the newly formed, notionally-Nationals seat of Flynn in Queensland.
Mr Vaile said on Sunday that he would offer to run as leader when his party met this week but is thought to have reconsidered the move.
The potential shift to the backbench comes as outgoing Queensland Nationals MP Deanne Kelly launched a broadside against her party, claiming the Coalition had been”far too complacent in not pushing policies that were stronger for rural and regional areas”.
Likely candidates for the Nationals leadership include current deputy leader Warren Truss or former agriculture minister Peter McGauran.