Calare MP Andrew Gee has confirmed he won't contest the Nationals leadership next Monday, with the party set to decide upon a new leadership team after the Coalition's heavy defeat in last Saturday's federal election.
The party will reconvene on Monday to elect a leader and deputy leader as has become customary for the Nationals following an election.
Mr Gee confirmed to the Western Advocate on Thursday he won't run for either leader or deputy leader, but will support who he feels will be the party's best choice.
"I won't be throwing my hat in the ring but I'll listen to whoever puts their hand up, hear their plans for the direction of the party and then back whoever I think is best at delivering the infrastructure and services needed in the bush," he said.
"The situation should become clearer over the next couple of days."
While the Nationals retained all 10 of their seats in the House of Representatives, the Liberal Party's poor polling in metropolitan areas saw the Coalition's worst performance at a federal election post-World War II.
Mr Gee has conceded it will be a "very difficult period" for the Coalition over the next three years.
"There is going to be a lot of soul searching as to what went wrong; however, the blame game is never a good look and trying to blame other parties for the misfortune of your own misses the point," he said.
"To me, one of the key lessons from the election for all major parties is the need to set out a clear vision for Australia and show voters that you believe in something higher than just winning elections.
"We have to get back to that."
At this stage, Dickson MP Peter Dutton is firming as the sole candidate to lead the Liberal Party after the resignation of former prime minister Scott Morrison and former treasurer Josh Frydenberg's loss in Kooyong.
Mr Gee said Mr Dutton faces a gargantuan task as opposition leader.
"I don't envy Mr Dutton and the mammoth recovery and unity task he faces. Time will tell if he's got the right stuff," he said.
Despite facing his first term as an opposition minister, Mr Gee said he'll continue to work tirelessly in parliament to achieve the best results for the electorate.
"I'm dedicated, wholeheartedly, to continuing to deliver and get things done for the Central West, to making sure that our local residents continue to get their fair share," he said.
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