Walsh, Ryan new Vic Nats leadership duo

Peter Walsh has been chosen by the Victorian Nationals as their new leader.


In a party room meeting on Wednesday night, they also chose first time MP Stephanie Ryan to fill Mr Walsh’s previous role as deputy.

The leadership reshuffle comes after the resignation of Peter Ryan as leader following the coalition’s loss at the state election.

Mr Ryan had served in the role for 15 years.

While she is a parliamentary newcomer, Ms Ryan says her experience as a country journalist and six years as a political adviser to Liberal and National MPs will help her in the role.

“I’ve been involved in policy and politics, media for quite some time,” she said as she left the meeting.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be elected to the position of deputy leader and I will do my very best for the party and for the people of regional Victoria moving forward to make sure we are contestable.”

The meeting was also a chance for the party members to look at their election results in detail, with Mr Walsh saying it wasn’t too different from 2010.

“If you actually analyse it seat by seat, and exclude the issues in Shepparton and Morwell which have some particular issues there, our vote was very similar to what it was in 2010,” he said.

“For the majority of our seats people have held their vote extremely well.”

Nationals candidate Greg Barr was beaten by independent Suzanna Sheed with a 32.5 per cent swing in Shepparton, while Morwell Labor candidate Jadon Mintern only conceded defeat against incumbent Nationals MP Russell North on Wednesday.

The wait is now on to see whether Victoria’s coalition will endure.

Mr Walsh said there would be vigorous discussions with the new Liberal party leader, who is expected to be chosen in a party room meeting on Thursday.

“Post that meeting I will be sitting down and talking to whoever is their leader,” he said.

“The party room wants to make sure we have a constructive, but very vigorous, discussion with the Liberal Party.

“I actually think we delivered a lot for country Victoria as a government.”