Marine Le Pen, the leader of France's right-wing National Front party (FN) has regularly led polls to win the first round of voting in the county's April and May presidential elections.
Despite riding a wave of populism on a strong anti-immigrant platform her polling numbers do not mean the nationalist politician should expect to walk into the Elysee Palace after the elections are over.
France's presidential system, in which two first-round winners face off in a second round, would usually block her path to France's highest office. Given Le Pen's fringe views, accepted wisdom would dictate the majority of voters in a second round would support any other candidate in a bid to block her victory.
However, following the vote by Britain to leave the EU and the victory of Donald Trump in the US presidential race – political analysts are refusing to write-off Le Pen.
What would Le Pen's France look like?
Le Pen has campaigned on a central platform of anti-immigration. CNN reports that wants to see legal immigration to France slashed from 200,000 to 10,000 entries each year in France. She is also campaigning to have public services currently available to migrants limited.
The FN leader's economic platform in the 2017 elections is fiscally conservative. Her policies of preserving France's extensive social safety net resonate with blue-collar workers who view globalisation as a threat to their livelihoods.
Le Pen also holds a series of anti-European Union views, on the fringes of the French political spectrum they, nevertheless, feed into her isolationist, Gaulist global outlook. She has said she would call a referendum on French membership of the European Union if she were elected in May and would lead the campaign to leave. She has praised Britain's move to leave the European Union calling it a "the first real blow to the old world order".
Le Pen has also said she would look to remove France from the euro creating a "new franc" which she claims would help France retain control of its borders. In a similar vein, Le Pen has said she wants to see an end to dual citizenship for French citizens for nations outside of Europe excluding Russia.
Le Pen has made her admiration of Putin's Russia no secret. She has broadly supported the Russian leader's actions in Ukraine and in Syria and has said she would withdraw from Nato. She has said France has become lapdog to US interests. She has said that France's involvement in Libya and Afghanistan are key examples of France bowing blindly to US interests.