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France Presidential 2017: Social Media Data Still Showing Melenchon And Le Pen Set To Win First Round.

J.N. PAQUET photo
France Presidential 2017: Social Media Data Still Showing Melenchon And Le Pen Set To Win First Round.
The latest social media data exclusively provided to and by Professor Antoine Bevort, an Emeritus Professor in Sociology and social media data expert.

The latest social media data exclusively provided to and by Professor Antoine Bevort, an Emeritus Professor in Sociology at the CNAM and social media data expert, still seems to favour a second round run-off between Far-Left Jean-Luc Melenchon and Far-Right Marine Le Pen, contrary to nearly all the traditional opinion polls which predict that it is the Centrist Emmanuel Macron whom they think will fight Marine Le Pen.


Professor Bevort noted that the activity of the candidates’ teams (below) has logically increased last week as the campaign was coming to an end, between the new posts, tweets, photos and videos they shared on the four main social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube). Only one team has underperformed, however, and that was Francois Fillon’s.


When we turn to the number of new followers on the main social networks, one thing is striking: Jean-Luc Melenchon’s 97,000 new followers in just one week! It is three times Marine Le Pen and Emmanuel Macron’s figures, nearly four times Francois Fillon’s and eight times Benoit Hamon’s number of new followers. Professor Bevort noted a few weeks ago that Marine Le Pen seemed to have reached her audience’s limit online. A limit from which her message doesn’t seem to work any further.


The final figures, which Professor Bevort thinks are the most interesting, are the social media data engagement — in a nutshell, all the likes, shares, tweets, retweets and comments that have a link with the candidates.

Again, it is obvious to see who has the largest engagement data: Jean-Luc Melenchon with over 2.6m engagements, twice more than Marine Le Pen who comes second, three times more than Francois Fillon, four times more than Emmanuel Macron and seven times Benoit Hamon’s engagement figures.

Professor Antoine Bevort.

To conclude, Professor Bevort explains: “In a way, what we learn from social networks should not surprise anyone. The data only confirm the deep distrust of the French people with regard to the political institutions, especially the parties of government. Whether this is reflected in the ballot box or not, what ‘social media’ are doing is showing how discredited and illegitimate the French elite is. Considering social media above all as fake news hubs would be yet another mistake these elites would make.”

Whether the social media’s big data is indeed reflected in the ballot box on Sunday evening or not is a big question. To what extent will the big data get it right compare to the traditional opinion polls, is another big question. Nobody knows. It seems reasonable to think that if the margins of error are smaller on Sunday evening than the pollsters’, this method should be considered more seriously by the media in the future.

President Hollande spoke to the press after the terror attack in Central Paris on Thursday evening.

A final note: It is important to remind the readers that the data in this article were collected before the Paris attack that took place on Thursday evening. Can the terror attack create unexpected last minute changes in the opinion of voters? We shall have an answer on Sunday evening, at 8.00pm (Paris time).

Follow our special live coverage of the election results on Sunday, with full results, political reactions, comments and Q&A, at: from 7.30pm (Paris time).

Disclaimer: Political predictions in this article are based on the social media data analysis of Professor Bevort and don’t reflect the views of the journalist, the magazine or its owners.

(This article was first published on the politics magazine

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J.N. PAQUET is an author, journalist and political writer. He is the editor of His book series on populism and nationalism “The Tip of The Populist Iceberg?” is available in print, eBook and audiobook worldwide.

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(Photograph cover: The 'mariage a trois', © J.N. PAQUET)

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