There seems to be some confusion over how many of the five rounds of voting have now been completed. If the two postponed rounds are counted then there is only one vote left. If only actual votes are counted then there are three more opportunities to find a President. If anyone knows which is correct please enlighten me.
Either way, though, it seems immaterial. Clearly there was no progress on finding a consensus candidate between the first and second votes, and there seems to be no great urgency to produce one. It seems instead that both parties are now resigned to - or perhaps enthusiastically looking forward to - a general election.
How a general election will help, I don't know. There are no new people, no new parties and no new ideas out there. A general election will merely reshuffle the existing pack. Even if the Socialist parties were to win an election and form the next government, if they can't deliver 84 votes they can't elect a President.
So what happens then? If a new Parliament failed to elect a President would it have to be dissolved and would there be yet another general election? If so, why would a Democrat opposition, having been forced into an election under these circumstances, support any candidate for President, knowing that to do so would consolidate the Socialists in power?
I assume that various outside agencies are leaning on the parties to find a resolution but at the moment it looks unlikely. Still with 12 days to come up with a viable candidate, there is still time for a surprise.