Francois Fillon has won France`s Republican presidential primary, after his opponent Alain Juppe conceded defeat.
Mr Fillon had won 67% of votes and Mr Juppe was on 33%, according to results from about 90% of polling stations.
The pair, both former prime ministers, were vying to become the centre-right Les Republicains party candidate in the election.
Speaking after his victory, Mr Fillon, 62, said: “I must now convince the whole country our project is the only one that can lift us up.
“My approach has been understood: France can`t bear its decline.
“It wants truth and it wants action.
“I will take up an unusual challenge for France – tell the truth and completely change its softwIn Paris, 71-year-old Mr Juppe congratulated Mr Fillon on the “large victory”, adding: “I finish this campaign as I began it – as a free man who did not compromise what he is or what he thinks”.
He called for unity and calm after a campaign during which he had accused Mr Fillon of pandering to anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim feeling.
Mr Fillon is now likely to face a spring showdown with far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen, who will be seeking to build on that same anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-establishment feeling.