The NSW Nationals will hold a party room meeting at 10:00am on Wednesday.
Deputy Leader Paul Toole and rival Melinda Pavey will go head-to-head, but Sky News Australia understands it is unlikely Ms Pavey will win enough votes.
Deputy Nationals Leader Paul Toole is a firm favourite to replace John Barilaro as leader of the Nationals. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Flavio Brancaleone
Water and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey will also be contesting for the leadership but sources say she does not have enough votes to win. Picture: Jonathan Ng
The new leader will replace John Barilaro who announced on Monday he would quit politics just days after Premier Gladys Berejiklian announced her resignation.
Mr Barilaro said the former Premier’s resignation on Friday “has not played any part in the decision that I’ve made” and ruled out a move to federal politics.
“I will make this clear now so I don’t have to answer the question later – I have no intention to run for Eden-Monaro or for federal politics. I’m looking to a new career.”
Party room ballot to be held tomorrow to decide John Barilaro’s replacement
Who is Paul Toole?
Paul Toole has been serving as the Deputy Leader of the New South Wales Nationals since 2019. 
He is the NSW Minister for Regional Transport and Roads in the second Berejiklian ministry since April 2019.
The Bathurst MP announced he would put his hand up on Tuesday after taking 24 hours to reflect following Mr Barilaro’s leadership.
Minister Toole put his hand up for the position following John Barilaro’s resignation. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Gaye Gerard
“I want to keep building on the foundations he’s laid and provide the community with the stability they want to see,” he said.
“Having been somebody who’s lived and breathed in regional NSW — I want to continue the strong work John Barilaro has done, and continue to bring that investment into our regions.
“This is a time where we need a strong and stable leadership as we are coming out of a pandemic.”
If Mr Toole wins the leadership, it is understood Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor, will be elected as the new deputy.
Paul Toole a ‘sell-out’ for council amalgamation backflip: Alan Jones
Melinda Pavey
Melinda Pavey declared she would run for the position shortly after Mr Barilaro announced his resignation on Monday.
The 52-year-old had served as the Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight from January 2017 until March 2019 before serving as the Minister for Water, Property and Housing.
If elected, she would be the first woman appointed leader of the NSW Nationals and the second female Deputy Premier of NSW.
“I believe I have got what it takes and I can be a good National Party leader, a good coalitionist, and be very dedicated to getting NSW through COVID and seek those opportunities for the busy,” she said.

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