NATIONALS deputy leader Bridget McKenzie says her party's record low vote in Indi at the federal election reflects the low-profile the party has had in North East areas since the 1970s.
However, the new federal Agriculture Minister believes Nationals can still appeal to voters and build support off the back of reactivating a Wodonga branch.
Nationals candidate Mark Byatt collected less than 10 per cent of Indi votes in the May 18 election with the party suffering an eight per cent swing on its 2016 result.
"I think it just reflects we haven't held the seat since the mid-1970s," Senator McKenzie said before noting the Liberal Party at state level holds two seats in Indi which extends from just north of Melbourne to the Upper Murray.
"We haven't held Benambra for decades and similarly with Cindy McLeish's seat around Eildon.
"It means we've got more work to do.
"I'm confident the seat of Indi is a seat the Nationals could service really well, but we've got to have connections with communities and stakeholders so they can see the benefits."
Senator McKenzie said she would like to see a Wodonga Nationals branch operating "as soon as possible" to boost the party's grassroots in Indi's population hub.
Former Nationals Victorian MP Bill Baxter said the Wodonga branch had gone into abeyance after December 2012 due to low membership with meetings averaging six or seven attendees.
He believes greater levels of rank and file members among all parties would be beneficial for representative democracy.
"It would keep MPs more grounded, whereas now because we don't have that mass membership it's one of the reasons why some MPs think they know it all and get out of touch," Mr Baxter said.
Senator McKenzie attributed much of Independent Helen Haines' win in Indi to the work of former MP Cathy McGowan at the Wodonga prepolling booth.
"I think Cathy's presence was very strong and Helen Haines benefitted," Senator McKenzie said.