London [United Kingdom], Nov. 21 : Nicolas Sarkozy was knocked out of the French presidential race by Francois Fillon and Alain Juppe after he finished third in the primary to pick the centre-right's candidate.
Former French prime minister Francois Fillon topped the poll with 44.2 per cent of the vote, whereas another former prime minister, Alain Juppe, with 28.4 per cent of votes, came in second.
The two have now qualified for the second round run-off to decide who should be France's conservative presidential candidate, reports the Independent.
Sarkozy who received 20.7 per cent of votes has conceded his defeat. The run-off vote to decide who should be France's conservative presidential candidate will be held on 27 November.
There will be a strong chance of victory for the winner of run-off vote in next year's presidential election as traditional rivals on the left have been weakened by Socialist Francois Hollande's troubled presidency.
Polls have constantly shown that the leader of the far-right Front National (FN), Marine Le Pen will make it to the final round of presidential voting partly due to those troubles.
Fillon told his supporters that his programme is one of "hope" and added that he had a "special thought" for Sarkozy, whom he served as prime minister from 2007 to 2012.
Sarkozy endorsed Fillon and announced that he intended to withdraw from public life after the result. "I failed to convince a majority of voters," he said. "I hold Alain Juppe in high esteem, but I feel closer to Francois Fillon's political choices," Sarkozy added.
However, Socialist President Francois Hollande is yet to announce his decision to stand again for president.