Saturday 16 December 2017

Lise Hand: Black smoke no surprise – and it is very black

Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel begin the conclave to elect a new pope
Cardinals in the Sistine Chapel begin the conclave to elect a new pope

ST Peter's Square was stuffed last night for the very first smoke-sighting, despite the persistent rain.

And yet there really had been little chance that the smoke would be white on the first time of asking.

According to some veteran Vaticanistas, (the name given to correspondents who cover the Vatican beat), while the first ballot usually throws up a few early frontrunners there are often all sorts of names in the mix as various cardinals take the opportunity to cast a vote for a pal so his name goes on the voting record.

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