The key difference this time was the presence of 7 opposition MP's who took part in the voting and backed Topi. Ben Blushi, chairman of the Socialist Party in parliament, subsequently resigned from his post and Edi Rama denounced the 7 as 'treacherous.'
Some commentators suggested that this was Nano's revenge. Unable to take the post of President himself, he undermined Rama's leadership in the most effective way he could, by getting his remaining supporters to back Topi.
Was there a deal? In time it may become clearer. Certainly, Berisha was very confident after the third vote that there would be a result in this round and that Topi would win. Of course, that might have been no more than political bluff.
Topi himself is working hard to sound statesmanlike: "I pledge to bring balance to the Albanian political climate and modernise our institutions to make sure we live up to the challenge of joining the European Union and NATO," he said in his speech to parliament following the vote.
The interesting question now is what will happen with Chief Prosecutor Theodhori Sollaku. It was Berisha's insistence on bringing his status into the discussions that led to the collapse of the talks to find a consensus candidate. And it was President Moisiu who resisted previous attempts by Berisha's government to have Sollaku sacked.
Will Berisha now attempt to have Sollaku removed once more? And if he does, will Topi stand in his way?