Marine Le Pen is on course to be the next president of France, according to one fund manager's big-data analysis.
Arun Kant, chief executive and chief investment officer at Singapore-based investing firm Leonie Hill Capital, told CNBC he expected the right-wing populist to prevail thanks to his firm's proprietary artificial intelligence (AI) system's analysis of troves of data.
His analysis — which he said incorporates inputs such as social and traditional media discussions, polling, economics and demographics — predicts that Le Pen will "walk over" her opponents in the first electoral test and then prove most forecasters wrong and steal the lead in the second ballot, Kant said.
The French vote is split into two phases, with the top two candidates from the April 23 round due to face each other in a second run-off on May 7. In the running alongside 48-year old Le Pen are former economy minister and independent candidate Emmanuel Macron, conservative ex-prime minister Francois Fillon and socialist Benoit Hamon.
Kant's AI program predicts that Le Pen would take 28 percent of the vote in the first round, he said, which would best 16.4 percent for Fillon, and 19 to 20 percent for Macron.
Current inputs are pointing to a Macron victory in the second round — 52.3 percent to 47.7 for Le Pen — Kant said, but he added that he expects the right-wing politician to gain considerable ground after a first round victory.
"If she wins the first round, this dynamic will change," he said, noting the similarities between the populist appeal of Le Pen and President Donald Trump.
And with this predicted momentum, Le Pen will likely win the presidency, Kant said.