The only thing standing in the way of Barnaby Joyce appearing in the House of Representatives today is Sydney traffic.
The powers that be told Mr Joyce they want him on the floor of parliament by 2pm.
“They keep checking in with me to see what my ETA is, because there is literally a line of people waiting to talk to me,” Mr Joyce told The Leader as he was stuck in a Sydney gridlock.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to work and obviously a lot of people are looking forward to having be back because my phone has been running red hot.
“I’ve got my horses tie on to remind me to giddy up and get going.”
The Australian Electoral Commission will official declare the writ at midday in Armidale, after which Mr Joyce will be sworn as the New England MP, and reinstated as the Deputy Prime Minister and Agriculture Minister.
He’s already been back to Canberra once this week to address the Nationals’ party room, but he had to wear a visitor’s pass. He was planning on having “at least one day off” and doing some bush walking around Ebor when he got the call to get to the capital.
“It’s a bit like going back to boarding school after a break and in a funny way it feels a little bit foreign, but I’m sure that will dissipate very quickly,” Mr Joyce said.
Mr Joyce once again thanked the people of New England for their massive show of support, with 65 per cent of people giving him their first preference vote.
“I really want to re-state again how humbled I am to have the support of the people of New England,” he said.
“I’ve been overwhelmed by people coming up to me everywhere I go, saying congratulations – whether it’s at the car wash or the service station.
“I thank everyone for their patience and apologies for inconvenience of election.”
Despite the inconvenience of the election, Mr Joyce said “really enjoyed” the campaign, which was the longest continuous period he's spent in his home region for years.
“To be quite frank, it was great getting around all corners of the electorate,” he said.
“It gives you a lot more ideas for the next stage of the grand plan.”
He also took a shot at Labor for not putting forward their potential dual-citizen MPs when the Nationals and Greens did.
“It’s the only time I’ve ever got something good to say about Greens, but you’ve got to give due credit,” he said.
“If Labor had put forward their MPs when we did, maybe there would have been a different High Court outcome if the judge was looking at 20 politicians.
“Labor said their process was so water tight they had nothing to answer for. Now they look like complete and utter hypocrites.”
It was revealed today that at least four Labor MPs have question marks around their dual citizenship status.