BARNABY Joyce will be hoping it's third time a charm after he won the Nationals leadership from Michael McCormack in a vote on Monday morning, and local powerbrokers believe it will be good for the region.
The Member for New England has held the role twice before. He was removed the first time after it was found he was ineligible for the position as a dual Australian-New Zealand citizen.
While on the second occasion - after he'd revoked his New Zealand citizenship - he resigned following revelations of an affair with former staffer, Vikki Campion, with whom he has since had two children, and a separate claim of sexual harassment, which he was later cleared of due to insufficient evidence.
However, his popularity has always remained strong in the New England electorate. Mr Joyce won 64.92 per cent of the vote in the 2017 by-election, and 54.82 per cent in the 2019 federal election.
Mr Joyce has been a backbencher since the last election, but once sworn in as Nationals leader he will return to the role of Deputy Prime Minister.
Tamworth Regional Council (TRC) mayor, Col Murray, believes it will be beneficial for the region for its federal member to hold such an important role.
"That's just a process of our democratic system and I think our electorate will be better off with a Deputy Prime Minister than just a backbencher," he said.
Fellow Tamworth councillor, Russell Webb, was also pleased with the result of Monday's leadership spill.
He said while Mr McCormack had done a good job, there was something special about the way Mr Joyce could communicate with everyday Australians.
"Barnaby has got that ability to cut through and I think he'll be a very strong advocate as he was previously for regional Australia," he said.
"What it does is it will certainly put our region at a greater focus with access to ministers and parliamentary staff.
"You'd be a fool to say it's not advantageous to have him in a position of more influence than where he was."
Not everybody is convinced though, the Leader hit the streets of Tamworth to find out what locals thought about the situation.
Patrick O'Halloran said he thought Mr Joyce's reinstatement to the role could be a positive in terms of gaining funding for projects such as the university, flying college and aquatic centre, but said it would be "beneficial for the New England area only".
Another Tamworth man, Daniel Brezniak, was against the move and expressed his surprise there was no one else the Nationals would rather have lead them.
"I think it's appalling that Mr Joyce is again in the position as Deputy Prime Minister, I think there can be a series of better choices made for the leader of the Nationals in this country," he said.
"He'll be as disruptive as he was before and he's a person who advances the wrong interests."
Check out what Tamworth locals had to say about Monday's leadership spill:
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