- Title: Parisians react to Fillon's suprise breakthrough in primaries
- Date: 21st November 2016
- Summary: FILLON STEPPING AWAY FROM PODIUM
- Embargoed: 6th December 2016 09:13
- Keywords: Election Primaries Fillon Juppe Sarkozy
- Location: PARIS, FRANCE
- City: PARIS, FRANCE
- Country: France
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA00559E08CN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Parisians took stock on Monday morning (November 21) of the stunning victory by former prime minister Francois Fillon in the first-round of primaries that will determine the conservative presidential ticket.
Fillon finished with only six points short of the 50-percent threshold needed in the first round, and ousted ex-president Nicolas Sarkozy from the race.
Another ex-prime minister, Alain Juppe, garnered less than 30 percent.
"I was surprised to see so many people turn out for Fillon when I thought that it would be a fight between Sarkozy and Juppe...But I think that in the end people need change and that's what happened yesterday," a Parisian, Amelie, said.
Any French voter can take part in the run-off next Sunday (November 20), and the views of pollsters and commentators have been much confounded in popular votes worldwide this year - not least Sunday's (November 20) vote in which Fillon did far better than expected.
"It's a surprise but at the same time it isn't one because I think there was a real need for change - we saw that in the United States and there's maybe an impact in France - so it's not a bad thing, a bit of change," another Paris resident, David, said.
"I think it's more of a penalty vote against the third person, Nicolas Sarkozy," Parisian Olivier said.
With his socially conservative and liberal, pro-business platform, Fillon lacks the broad appeal of the more centrist Juppe.
Fillon's proposals for market-oriented reforms - including scrapping the 35-hour working week and raising the retirement age - go beyond what his challenger advocates for a country where the state remains a powerful force in the economy, even for the centre-right.
"His (Fillon's) discourse is very much on the right as well. Juppe, who was my candidate was more uniting, more in the centre. Fillon, although he is quite liberal, on a social level, it's not a step-backwards but it's different," Luc, also a Parisian, said.
A snap poll by Opinionway showed Fillon winning next Sunday's head-to-head contest against Juppe with 56 percent of support.
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