Francois Fillon is calling on his supporters to vote for Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election.
Right-wing candidate Mr Fillon is expected to be knocked out of the election after getting 19.5 per cent of votes counted early, behind Marine Le Pen with 21.9 and Mr Macron with 23.7 per cent.
Addressing his supporters, Mr Fillon said France had to unite to prevent an extremist party to enter the Elysee Palace.
Mr Fillon also told his supporters he personally accepted responsibility for the defeat of his party, Les Republicains.
French commentators said the vote mark the end of a political era since the two parties, which have traditionally been the pillars of France's political arena, the Socialist party and Les Republicains, are expected to be eliminated in the first round of the election.
More to follow....