French Centre-Right Primary 2016: The Final (Live Reporting)


Second round of the French centre-right’s presidential primary with a face-off between two former prime ministers, Alain Juppé and François Fillon, after former President Sarkozy was knocked out of the race last Sunday. The winner tonight could be next year’s French President. Live reporting.

21.45 — We are now concluding our live reporting on the second round of the French centre-right primary that ended with a big win for François Fillon (66%).

We leave you with this handshake between the two candidates:

And this impressive map of France produced by AFP that shows the regions where Fillon finished first. Pretty much everywhere!

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21.25 — It is interesting to see how, just less than an hour after the first results have become public, the French media focus has now turned from the centre-right primary to President Hollande, with journalists asking senior Socialist leaders and Left sympathisers whether Hollande should be candidate to the Left primary that is to take place next January.

The question is not irrelevant because the centre-right are now the first who managed to organise themselves and produce their own unique candidate for the 2017 Presidential, whilst the Left is increasingly divided. The French president is a divisive figure in his own party and a large majority of French people don’t want him to be a candidate in 2017 as they see his current mandate as a complete failure.

So, what happen’s next? Hollande: ira ou n’ira pas?

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21.05 — A new opinion poll Odoxa-France 2, with for the first time François Fillon included, shows the following results:

First Round of Presidential election:

- Fillon (Les Republicains), 32%
- Marine Le Pen (far-right), 22%
- Macron (social-democrat), 13%
- Mélenchon (far-left), 12%
- Hollande (Parti Socialiste), 8%
- Bayrou (liberal democrat), 6%
- Arthaud (far-left), 2%
- Dupont-Aignant (sovereignist), 2%
- Jadot (Green party), 2%
- Poutou (far left, anti-capitalist party), 2%

For the first time in months, the candidate of the far-right isn’t in the lead in an opinion poll. Marine Le Pen would still qualify to the second round, but she would then be beaten 71% to 29% by Fillon.

Second Round:

- Fillon 71%
- Le Pen 29%

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20.47 — Alain Juppé and François Fillon meet at the Primary organisers HQ and a hand-shake.

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20.11 — François Fillon’s time to speak:

“France has spoken. Victory is mine.”
“The French have agreed with my vision.”
“The current presidential mandate has been pathetic! We must change it.”
“I have a particular thought for Nicolas Sarkozy. And another for Alain Juppé.”
“The millions of French people I met need respect and pride.”
“I want to build a fairer society.”
“I must now convince a whole country.”
“Nothing stops a country that stands for its future.”

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20.03 — Alain Juppé concedes defeat. The end of his national political life.

“Congratulation to François Fillon. I wish him luck. I will remain a free man.”
“I tell my supporters: Continue the fight for a peaceful society. Work together with our European brothers.”
“I gave 40 years of my life to politics.”

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19.49 — The very conservative and “Thatcherist” François Fillon wins the centre-right primary with about 66% of the votes. The former prime minister, a “mister nobody” who no one thought would even qualify to the second round of this election, is a neo-conservative, pro-austerity, anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage politician who has been elected with nearly three times as many votes as his opponant and is now very much the favourite to meet Marine Le Pen in the second round of the French Presidential election in May 2017.

(Photograph credit © Pachot | — Former Prime Minister Francois Fillion)

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19.31 — Jean-François Copé, candidate in the first round of the primary and supporter of Alain Juppé, admits defeat on French TV France 2:

“It is a beautiful and large victory for Fillon. I am now ready to help him in anyway I can for him to become the next President of the Republic.”

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19.23 — First official results:

- François Fillon, 69,5%
- Alain Juppé, 30,5%

(source: Primaire ouverte de la Droite et du Centre)

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19.04 — According to Swiss daily newspaper La Tribune de Geneve, François Fillon will be elected with over 60% of the votes tonight.

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18.35 — According to, the voters in the primary are:

- 64% of voters from the Centre-Right
- 15% of voters from the Left
- 12% of voters without a particular side
- 9% of voters from Marine Le Pen’s far-right Front National

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18.08 — The 10,228 polling stations are now closed. The first results won’t be known before 19.30 (GMT).

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17.31 — At 17.00, the number of voters was 2.9 millions which, compared to the 2.8 million voters last week, is up 4.5%.

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17.10 — As everyone awaits the usual 17.00 figures on the recorded voters from the vote organisers, here is an indication on how many times François Fillon and Alain Juppé were researched on Google today between 8am and 2pm.
(Source: Google Trends)

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13.35 — The weekly French news magazine L’Obs publishes today the words of a young woman, Caroline, 28, who usually votes for the Left and who admits she voted for Alain Juppé last weekend. She will vote for him again today she says.

“I never voted for the Right, but after watching the TV debates, I felt I had to give my own opinion and contribute to the choice of the candidate. I felt I shouldn’t leave it to the conservative electorates to choose alone their candidate when he will very likely be the next President of France. I wanted to eliminate the candidates I feared the most, among them, Nicolas Sarkozy.”

“When I saw Fillon was in the lead, it was like a cold shower. I didn’t read his manifesto before going to vote and I think that in the end he scares me more than Sarkozy. I will vote for Juppé again on Sunday to be true to myself. Even if there is very little hope he’ll win, I’ll have tried to help. Whatever happens, I’ll never vote for Fillon.”

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12.05 — Over 1.2 million voters have been recorded at 12.00, up 10–15% compare to last week’s first round, according to the vote organisers.

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12.00 — Mr Fillon, 62, secured 44.1% of the votes in the first round last week. Mr Juppe, 71, received 28.5% of the votes. Fillon is the opinion polls’ favourite. Polling station across France will close at 18:00.

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All live reporting times are London time GMT (Paris: GMT +1), unless otherwise indicated.

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(Photograph Credit © Netfalls | — French Flags At The Elysee Palace Residence Of The French President)