As it happened: Fillon tops French conservative primary

Fillon Primaires

Fillon Primaires

Former French prime ministers François Fillon and Alain Juppé will vie for the conservative nomination in a primary run-off after handing former president Nicolas Sarkozy a shock defeat on Sunday. Follow the events as they happened with our liveblog.

  • Fillon stunned his opponents by taking more that 44% of the vote, well ahead of Juppé (28%) andSarkozy (20%).
  • The former president has conceded defeat and endorsed Fillon for the nomination.
  • In his concession speech, Sarkozy  said: “I have no bitterness, I have no sadness, and I wish the best for my country.”
  • Organisers reported strong turnout of around four million voters.
  • The suprising result puts Fillon, a pro-business conservative, in a commanding position ahead of next week’s second round.
  • With the ruling Socialists all but written off, opinion polls suggest whoever wins the nomination will likely face – and defeat – far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the presidential run-off.