Barnaby Joyce could be tapped on the shoulder as soon as today

Deputy National Party Leader, Bridget McKenzie, has broken her silence on the Barnaby Joyce scandal, saying the party full backs the deputy Prime Minister.

"Mr Joyce has always said he served five years in the Reserve", a spokesperson said.

Yesterday members of the Nationals Party were reportedly deciding whether there was enough divide in the party to ask for Mr Joyce's resignation, in the wake of a growing number of questions surrounding the Deputy Prime Minister's alleged affair with former media advisor Vikki Campion.

Overall, 40 per cent of New England respondents said they were less inclined to vote for Mr Joyce given the revelations about his private life.

"I would prefer it to be two or three people", Mr O'Dowd said.

Mr Joyce is set to serve as acting Prime Minister next week when Malcolm Turnbull travels to the USA on an official visit, however he is facing a range of queries about his expenses and relationship with Miss Campion, who is now pregnant with his child.

David Littleproud, promoted by Joyce to cabinet in December, said Joyce would continue to have the support of the Nationals' party room.

After 24 hours in Canberra calming the troops, the Nationals" federal president Larry Anthony said: "I think the vast majority of the parliamentary team are supportive of Barnaby'.

Nationals president Larry Anthony is in Canberra to deal with the crisis, which he called a "very hard time" for the party.

Nationals lawmaker Ken O'Dowd said he expected a party delegation would confront Joyce soon to consider his position.

A photograph of Mr Joyce's pregnant partner Vikki Campion, 33, on the front page of The Daily Telegraph has triggered a fierce debate about whether the image and accompanying article are an invasion of privacy or matter of public interest.

"When she worked in my office, she was not my partner".

The clock is ticking on a resolution, with Malcolm Turnbull due to leave the country next week, which would make Joyce the acting prime minister - a development some hardheads regard as politically untenable.

That was reflected in the ReachTEL poll: asked who should replace Mr Joyce if he resigned, 16 per cent backed Senator McKenzie, 14 per cent wanted Resources Minister Matthew Canavan and 9.5 per cent chose Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael McCormack.

If both the prime minister and deputy prime minister are unable to take Australia's reigns, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would ordinarily be next in line.

"I am returning to Australia from Kuwait; I do have plans to be overseas next week - parliament is not sitting - if circumstances change then, of course, I would change plans".

Figures released on Thursday showed between January 1 and June 30 a year ago Mr Joyce's work flights on government planes, which also included periods when he was acting prime minister, totalled $227,508.

Vanessa Coleman