Forecasting the extreme-right vote at the 2012 presidential election: Evaluating our model


This article evaluates our structural model forecasting the Extreme-Right vote in France since the mid-1970s and reflects upon its performance in 2012. We discuss the implications of the stability of the national-level specification of the model, as well as the limitations imposed by the availability and definition of some of the macro indicators used as predictors. Although empirically accurate in 2012, there are a number of unknowns in the model's likely fortunes for future elections, in particular, whether the ‘Marine effect’ observable in 2012 will translate into core party support, and the extent to which a party ‘normalisation’ strategy will affect its 2017 performance.

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    A number of the polling institutes released exaggerated estimates as high as 20 per cent at 20:00 on the day of the first round. For a more general assessment of polls in the 2012 presidential, see our blog entry: ‘Another April surprise? A quick assessment of polls’, (

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    Let us note that a brief expert survey conducted 5 months ahead of the election gave a Marine Le Pen presidential forecast of 17 per cent.

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    In addition, there have been important changes in the structure of immigration in the recent years, with a substantial increase in numbers of foreign students admitted into the country. Although not included in the official immigration figures, these contribute to shape a new immigration phenomenon and fuel public perceptions of immigration being ‘on the rise’ again.


  1. Evans, J. and Ivaldi, G. (2010) Comparing forecasts of radical right voting in four European countries. International Journal of Forecasting 26 (1): 82–97.

  2. Evans, J. and Ivaldi, G. (2012) Forecasting the FN presidential vote in 2012. French Politics 10 (1): 44–67.

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Correspondence to Jocelyn Evans.

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Evans, J., Ivaldi, G. Forecasting the extreme-right vote at the 2012 presidential election: Evaluating our model. Fr Polit 10, 378–382 (2012).

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  • Front national
  • forecast
  • Marine Le Pen
  • presidential
  • 2012 election
  • vote