No candidate reached a majority in the first round of voting for the European Parliament’s new presidency, sparking more horse-trading in Strasbourg.
Centre-right candidate Antonio Tajani received 274 votes – 91 more than his nearest rival and fellow Italian Gianni Pittella, who leads the socialist bloc.
Up to three more rounds of voting will occur throughout Tuesday, as the leaders of smaller parties parlay the votes of their members into more influence within the chamber. Candidates must receive a majority of votes cast to win.
The candidate for right-wing European Conservatives and Reformists received 77 votes, while the Green candidate won 56 votes.
Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the liberal bloc, threw his support behind Mr Tajani earlier today, in exchange for a host of promises – including an attempt to try and negotiate a larger role for the European Parliament during Brexit negotiations.