(Bloomberg) -- The French Greens picked Yannick Jadot, its best-known and most moderate candidate, to represent the party in next year’s presidential election.
Jadot, a 54-year-old former Greenpeace campaigner and member of European parliament, defeated the more radical Sandrine Rousseau in a primary on Tuesday, with 51% of the vote.
“We are a great family that will be rallied and unified to lead this campaign,” Jadot said after the results were announced in Pantin, near Paris. “We will build a much wider rally to win in 2022.”
The French Greens have been galvanized by their German counterparts -- who had their best-ever showing in Germany’s recent elections and are likely to be part of any governing coalition -- and are hoping Jadot can led them to a similar breakthrough.
Jadot, like German Green party leader Annalena Baerbock, promises environmental policies driven by pragmatic alliances. He has said he wants to get rid of the party’s image as one of tree huggers critical of everything from cars to nuclear energy.
“Our responsibility is to make it into power and govern,” Jadot said in a debate on national television last week with Rousseau.
The trouble for Jadot is that French voters appear to be veering right and polls suggest the April runoff will pit Emmanuel Macron against far-right leader Marine Le Pen, just like in 2017.
Even so, as parties pick their candidates, the dynamic could shift.
Read more: Macron’s Job Is on the Line and These Contenders Might Just Grab It
Jadot could enter into an alliance with Socialist hopeful Anne Hidalgo and far-left leader Jean-Luc Melenchon, who obtained 20% of the vote last time around, to strengthen his hand. On his own, one recent poll gave him 6% of voting intentions in the first round of the election.
The Greens had nominated Jadot to run in 2017, but he dropped out to support the socialist candidate, Benoit Hamon, who ended up with only 6%.
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