The National Party in NSW needs to have a good look at itself after losing ground to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party in their state election, Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos believes.
"Whenever any party has seats lost and all the rest of it, you do have to take a look at yourselves," the federal parliamentarian told ABC's Insiders program on Sunday.
But federal Nationals MP Darren Chester has been keen to argue that the result was not all bad.
The NSW poll has proven positive for the Liberal-National coalition overall, with Premier Gladys Berejiklian requiring only one more seat, as counting continues, to govern in her own right.
But the Nationals lost the seat of Murray to the Shooters, Fishers and Farmers, while Barwon is also likely to fall that way.
Senator Sinodinos says the NSW Nationals were willing to spend big for those in the bush, but their messages haven't seemed to land.
"I'm not sure that people in the bush felt that it was too little too late," he said.
"You can promise a lot of things, but it's whether there's a perception that things have been allowed to run down for a long time and that too much is happening too soon towards the end."
Access to services and infrastructure may have weighed into the result, he believes, stressing the handling of the Murray-Darling Basin is a national issue, rather than a state one.
VIctoria-based National Mr Chester has acknowledged the result has not been all sunshine and roses, believing the drought has contributed.
"They've had a pretty tough time in the drought hit areas in NSW and as a consequence people are certainly hurting in those and we've suffered an electoral result from that," he told ABC TV.
But he's also taking heart from the result, stressing the Nationals retained a strong vote in vast areas of the bush.
"The message out of NSW was, for the federal government in particular, for our election in six weeks...was don't write us off. Don't write off the National Party, don't write off the coalition."
Both Senator Sinodinos and Mr Chester say that there is no interest in the federal coalition government to replace Nationals Leader Michael McCormack, potentially with his predecessor Barnaby Joyce.
"That's a ridiculous proposition," Mr Chester said.