Under-fire Barnaby Joyce has won the backing of his deputy, as a small group of MPs push for him to resign over concerns about his partner's political jobs.
The deputy prime minister's relationship with his now-pregnant partner Vikki Campion has raised concerns about the potential misuse of taxpayer funds after she was shuffled around jobs in other senior MPs' offices
Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie, who has kept a low profile since the scandal broke, was emphatic when she was asked if Mr Joyce would remain leader.
She said on Sky News: "I'll give you my solid, rolled-gold guarantee here that come tomorrow, come Friday, Barnaby Joyce will be leading the National party."
Senator McKenzie said every call from the public to her office on Wednesday had been "100 per cent" supportive of Mr Joyce, but the feedback had been mixed earlier in the week.
Nationals president Larry Anthony is in Canberra to deal with a "very difficult time" for the party.
"But the National Party always works through these issues," Mr Anthony told reporters on Wednesday.
Mr Joyce is due to take over as acting prime minister next week when Malcolm Turnbull holds talks in Washington with US President Donald Trump.
Nationals backbencher Ken O'Dowd said he hoped the speculation on Mr Joyce "doesn't go on too much longer."
"I'd hope to have it resolved today or tomorrow," he told reporters.
"Someone needs to tell him where the party stands at this stage."
Mr Joyce on Tuesday told a meeting of coalition MPs he was determined to get through this "time of trial".
Ministerial colleague Michael McCormack, who has twice missed out on becoming deputy leader, denied on Tuesday having conversations with colleagues about replacing Mr Joyce.
Cabinet minister David Littleproud, promoted by Mr Joyce in a ministerial reshuffle, said "of course" his leader had the support of most Nationals MPs.
"There's no leadership to be resolved," he told ABC radio.
"But those that want to keep this issue lingering on need to put up or shut up and leave him alone and leave his family alone."
A group of about four or five Nationals MPs is believed to be trying to get Mr Joyce to resign, but don't have the numbers in the 21-member party room to force a change.
Mr Joyce denied breaching the ministerial code of conduct, which says frontbenchers cannot employ "close" relatives or partners or get them work in other ministerial offices "without the prime minister's express approval".
He argued Ms Campion was not his partner when she worked in his and Matt Canavan's office.
Damian Drum was not a minister when she transferred to his office.
Ms Campion is due to give birth in mid-April.
Mr Joyce late last year separated from his wife Natalie after 24 years of marriage.