Barnaby Joyce has renounced his New Zealand citizenship and will nominate to contest a by-election in New England.

Turnbull confident in face of High Court loss

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said his government would have the numbers to vote down a no-confidence motion in the House of Representatives, as the seat of New England heads to a by-election after a High Court ruling that Barnaby Joyce had been ineligible for election.

"We have a majority of members in the House of Representatives, even in the absence of Barnaby Joyce and... we have support from the crossbench," Mr Turnbull said.

It comes after a High Court ruling found five members of the house and Senate had been inelligble for election due to dual citizenship provisions, including now former deputy prime minister Mr Joyce.

The court found senators Malcolm Roberts (One Nation), Larissa Waters (Greens), Fiona Nash (National) and Scott Ludlam (Greens) are ineligible, while Matt Canavan (LNP) and Nick Xenophon (Nick Xenophon Team) are eligible.

Mr Turnbull announced a small cabinet reshuffle, and will take Mr Joyce's water and agricultural portfolios until the by-election, scheduled for December 2.

Senator Matt Canavan will be returned as minister for resources and northern Australia, while Victorian Senator Mitch Fifield will act as regional communications minister, replacing Ms Nash.

Infrastructure Minister Darren Chester will hold Ms Nash's regional development portfolio.

Mr Joyce has renounced his New Zealand citizenship, and Mr Turnbull backed him as the best person to represent New England.

"The decision of the court today is clearly not the outcome we were hoping for," Mr Turnbull said.

"Barnaby Joyce is the best person - as we've seen already on the television, complete with his hat - the best person to continue to deliver for New England and for Australians living in regional, remote and rural areas.

"He has a passion for representation and while I know that Barnaby will be disappointed with the outcome of the court case, it is as though he's been let out of the stalls and he's ready and raring to go.

"His enthusiasm is absolutely infectious.

Mr Joyce said he would fight the by-election, with the electoral writs having been submitted today.

He thanked the people of the electorate for what he said was their overwhelming support.

One early win for Mr Joyce was the announcement that former New England independent member Tony Windsor would not renominate.

The Liberal-National coalition had held 76 of 150 seats in the House of Representatives, where government is formed, and the loss of the seat would make passage of legislation through the parliament slightly more precarious.

If the government loses a no-confidence motion in the house, that would trigger an election.

Senators, by contrast, do not face by-elections, with the replacements instead to be decided by recounts of the July 2016 vote.

That means Ms Nash will likely be replaced by Hollie Hughes, a Liberal who was in the next position on a joint coalition ticket.

In Western Australia, former senator Scott Ludlam will likely be replaced by activist Jordan Steele-John.

One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts has announced he will contest a seat in the upcoming Queensland state election.

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