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  1. ITV Report

French election: Fillon beats Juppe to become centre-right candidate

Alain Juppe (right) has conceded defeat to rival Francoi Fillon (left). Credit: Reuters

Francois Fillon has been selected as the centre-right's candidate for the French presidency after he saw off his last remaining rival for his party's nomination.

The 62-year-old former prime minister, who has a Welsh wife, beat Alain Juppe by winning 67% of the vote compared to his rival's 33% in Sunday's run-off.

Mr Juppe, who had long been considered the favorite for the primary, conceded defeat after after results showed him garnering fewer votes.

He revealed he will support Fillon in May's French presidential election.

"I finish this campaign as I began it, as a free man who did not compromise what he is or what he thinks," he said in Paris on Sunday night.

Mr Juppe is calling for unity and calm after a campaign in which he has accused Fillon of pandering to the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam far right.

Mr Fillon's success now makes him, in the eyes of many pundits, the frontrunner to take the keys to the Elysee Palace next May.

President Francois Hollande, a Socialist, has been struggling in opinion polls after a term blighted by terror attacks in Paris and Nice that claimed hundreds of lives.

Current opinion polls suggest that far-right leader Marine Le Pen would win the first-round of voting in the presidential election in April but would lose a run-off to her opponent in May.