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NSW Nats leader Troy Grant stands down

AAP logoAAP 13/11/2016

Troy Grant has relented and stood down as bloodletting within the NSW Nationals began after the party's disastrous showing at the Orange by-election.

Orange has been in Nationals hands for almost 70 years, but the party is barely holding on after suffering a whopping 36 per cent swing against it.

Nationals candidate Scott Barrett holds about 30 per cent of first preference votes with more than half of ballots counted, with around 25 per cent going to Philip Donato from the Shooters Fishers and Farmers.

The Nationals had held Orange by a 21.7 per cent margin, but the result of the weekend's by-election is still in the balance and will likely boil down to preferences.

Nationals MP Andrew Fraser told the ABC he will put up a leadership still motion at the first party room meeting on Tuesday after the backlash.

The huge swing against the Nationals came after voter anger over council mergers and the state government's now-collapsed greyhound racing ban.

Mr Grant had until Monday afternoon been standing firm amid the civil unrest.

"It's a privilege to serve as NSW Nationals leader and I intend to continue to do so," he said in a statement.

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