Francois Fillon has declared victory in the conservative presidential primary over his more moderate rival Alain Juppe.
Juppe conceded defeat in the country's first-ever conservative presidential primary and congratulated Fillon for a "wide victory.
Juppe, a former prime minister who had long been considered the favourite for the primary, made the concession announcement after results from Sunday's runoff election showed him garnering 32 percent of the vote to Fillon's 68 percent.
Juppe says he will support Fillon in the national election in April and May.
"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.
Juppe is calling for unity and calm after an unusually harsh campaign in which he accused Fillon of pandering to the anti-immigrant, anti-Islam far right.
Former prime minister Francois Fillon has been voted presidential candidate of the centre-right Les Republicains party, beating main challenger Alain Juppe.
Here's what he says he'll do if elected French president in May:
In a nutshell
The backdrop is a jobless rate of 10 percent, weak economic growth, concern about the survival of a costly but valued welfare state, worries about globalisation, immigration, security and the threat of further deadly attacks by Islamist militants.
He proposes a supply-side economic strategy with cuts in public spending, loosening restrictions on the length of the working week, and raising the retirement age.
He is also a social conservative who wants to limit adoption rights of gay couples and he has called for warmer ties with Russia.
Economy and employment
Society and the world