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Defeated conservative Fillon calls on supporters to choose Macron over Le Pen

Conservative candidate Francois Fillon has conceded defeat in the French presidential election and has asked his supporters to reject a far-right leadership.

Fillon joined other politicians, concerned with the stability of France and the European Union, in asking voters to choose the centrist Emmanuel Macron over the far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, after preliminary results showed the two will face off in the final round on May 7.

Christophe Archambault | AFP | Getty Images

Earlier, socialist contender Benoit Hamon, who also failed to qualify for the final round, made the same request to his supporters.

Also, France Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, from the Socialist Party, asked voters on his Twitter page to "unite" and vote for Macron. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault also tweeted a call to vote for Macron in the final round.

Popular Green Party (EELV) politician Cecile Duflot said she will vote for Macron "without hesitation".

Europe congratulates Macron

Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen also congratulated Macron via the social media site Twitter even though there's one round still to go. He said: "Europe needs an open minded and reform oriented France."

The European Parliament representative in the Brexit negotiations, Guy Verhosftadt, also said on Sunday evening that voting for Macron means having a tolerant, ambitious and European French society.

The main opponent to Angela Merkel in an upcoming federal election, the socialist Martin Schulz, asked French voters to back Macron and prevent Le Pen from becoming the next president.

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