Yvette Quinn has stood down as the Nationals candidate for the New South Wales seat of Orange after months of speculation about her future.
- Ms Quinn was preselected in June, with Deputy Premier John Barilaro saying he had a strong belief in her ability
- She was criticised for a Facebook post showing her dressed as a pixie for a reading day
- The Nationals say they will look for a new candidate in the “near future”
Ms Quinn, a 21-year-old mental health worker, was preselected for the party in June over Parkes mayor Ken Keith.
“Her resignation, due to personal circumstances, has been reluctantly accepted by the party,” The Nationals said in a statement.
“The Nationals wish to thank Miss Quinn for all her hard work since her preselection by local National Party members in June of this year.
“The party is currently providing support to Miss Quinn and looks forward to her ongoing participation and contribution to The Nationals.”
The Nationals said they would be looking for a new candidate in the “near future”.
Candidate faced criticism
The party had carried out polling in the seat, and the ABC understands Ms Quinn was not performing well.
This Facebook post by Ms Quinn attracted criticism. The post has since been deleted. (Facebook: Yvette Quinn)
It is understood other potential candidates were sounded out after her preselection, and she faced some criticism about her age and standing within the community.
She was also lambasted by Sydney media, who called a Facebook post showing Ms Quinn dressed as a pixie for a community reading day “embarrassing”.
But Ms Quinn had maintained she would continue as the candidate for Orange.
At the time of her preselection, Deputy Premier John Barilaro said he had a strong belief in Ms Quinn’s ability.
“I have confidence that the fight we have in Yvette, the passion, the energy Yvette has, will put us in good stead to win back the seat of Orange, and today we fire the first warning shot to the local member, the Shooters member, that we are coming for you,” he said.
Orange a key seat for The Nationals
The Nationals held the seat for 69 years before Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party member Philip Donato won a by-election in 2016.
Despite holding the seat by more than 20 per cent before the by-election, voters abandoned The Nationals after the greyhound racing ban and council amalgamations.
The seat was vacated by former state MP Andrew Gee when he resigned to run for Federal Parliament.
The NSW election will be held on March 23. Labor needs a swing of about 8.7 per cent to win government from the Coalition.
Ms Quinn has been contacted for comment.