After the first round of the French presidential election, we re-ran our analysis (here is link to our initial analysis) and while it is looking promising for Macron, there is still a realistic scenario in which Le Pen could win.
According to polls, Macron beats Le Pen by a large margin in almost every single socio-demographic category and in first-round vote transfers.
However, there is one phenomenon that could tip the election her way: differentiated turnout. Differentiated turnout is the idea that turnout can be unevenly distributed between different group of people (here, registered voters intending to vote for Le Pen vs Macron).
We ran simulations with the latest polling data and, with an overall turnout of 72% and voting intentions of 59% to 41% in favor of Macron, if Le Pen’s prospective voters turn out at a rate of 88% vs 61% for Macron, then she would win.
Differentiated turnout to Le Pen’s advantage is a realistic scenario as polls show Macron’s support is more tepid than hers and that French voters currently view her second round campaign stronger than Macron’s (a Harris Interactive poll found 61% of the French population think Le Pen kicked off her second round campaign well compared to 52% who believe Macron did not), that only 40% of people actually want to see Macron elected, and that first-round voters of moderate and left-leaning candidates eliminated from the runoff could abstain en masse.