Macron’s lead is narrower than the polls suggest

If attention matters in the French election as much as it did for Trump, Brexit and Round One then the polls need to consider how people are responding to coverage of the candidates.

Source: Kaleida Data, 2017

Source: FT Research, 2017

The polls currently show Emmanuel Macron leading Marine Le Pen in the French Presidential Election. The FT has a nice poll tracker mapping a steady position of voting intentions for the more centrist candidate.

Le Pen has closed in noticeably but not threateningly.

The polls were were strikingly accurate in Round One, so there’s no reason to believe that they will be wrong now. However, recent history in other parts of the world suggest people’s voting intentions can’t always be trusted on the big day.

While projecting American and British experiences onto the French electorate is bound to be inaccurate, the data tells a story that should concern anyone who expects Macron to take 60% of the vote. The polls aren’t considering the impact of the media, the attention Le Pen is capturing and the momentum moving in her direction these last few days.