Controversial right-wing French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has received an unexpected boost to her electoral ambitions.
Social physicist Serge Galam, whose mathematical modelling accurately predicted Brexit and President Donald Trump, has said his calculations prove Ms Le Pen could still win.
There are 11 candidates running for the French presidency and four leading contenders: Emanuelle Macron, Marine Le Pen, Francois Fillon and Jean-Luc Mélenchon.
Of those, the opinion polls are widely predicting it will come down to Mr Macron versus Ms Le Pen in the presidential run off, and former banker Mr Macron is predicted to win.
“It shows that for the first time she can become the president, even with less than 50 per cent of voting intention,” Mr Galam said.
But he said the result would say more about those who chose not to vote than the successful candidate's support base.
“On one hand they want to oppose Marine Le Pen, they are sincere, but on the other hand they are sincerely against the candidate which they will have to vote for in order to implement their refusal [of her],” he said.
“So this is why the abstention this time is going to be a major element because not only do you have no candidate you want to vote for but you have an aversion for all the candidates.”
Watch: Fillon will not give up presidential race
'The social misery is growing'
A recent survey found France is the most pessimistic nation on earth with 81 per cent of people saying their life is getting worse.
High unemployment, taxes and regulation coupled with ageing public infrastructure have many voters questioning how the country is governed.
About one quarter of French youth are unemployed.
French voter Juliette Durand said she had been to 50 job interviews in the past six months and had been unsuccessful despite being highly skilled and with international experience.
“We voted left, we voted right, we tried a lot of different solutions, a lot of different presidents,” she said.
“And the situation is the same. The social misery grows and the economic misery as well.
“Every day in the metro someone asks me for money, I can't take the metro without someone asking for one euro, two euros, 20 cents.
“A lot of young people can't find a job and the politicians don't deliver any solutions and that means we don't move forward."
Watch: Top contenders in the French presidential race