It's Jean-François Copé!
Hang about - nobody!
Even though both men declared themselves victorious in the opposition centre-right Union pour un Mouvement Populaire (Union for a Popular Movement,UMP) party's election to choose a new president over the weekend, the post is still vacant.
That's right folks, the UMP organised itself a piss-up in a brewery, asking its 300,000 or so members to choose between the two men and then suspending the count overnight because it was too close to call.
Oh yes, and as this French politics, there were the usual claims of vote-rigging or fraud.
|Jean-François Copé "I'm the winner" (screenshot BFM TV)|
"There's no question that the results from polling stations, where there have been suggestions of vote rigging, should be taken into account," Copé told BFM TV on Monday morning, confirming that he was the winner.
"But even if they were, then I would still be the winner," he said.
Right. Very clever M. Copé - basically win-win.
"I'm waiting for the vote to be validated by the party commission charged with overseeing the election. And I'm confident I'll be confirmed as the winner."
Copé : "Oui, j'ai gagné cette élection" par BFMTV
Yes. Well. Copé didn't wait for confirmation on Sunday, appearing before supporters to declare that he had won by a couple of thousand votes.
Only to have Fillon announce a few minutes later that he had in fact won - by an even smaller margin.
|François Fillon says he has won (screenshot BFM TV)|
"Our party is still unable to declare the result officially," Fillon said in the small hours of Monday morning, after having earlier countered Copé's claims of victory with his own.
"It's a major malfunction and I'm completely shocked."
Oh come, come M. Fillon.
This is French politics after all.
And look what happened to the Socialist party in November 2008 as Martine Aubry and Ségolène Royal slugged it out amid claims of stuffed ballot boxes and "missing" votes.
It's par for the course.
Plus ça change - and all that.
So the party - no the country...oh well go on then, the media - waits on tenterhooks for a final decision and...
Wait, who's that in the (far-right) wings gleefully rubbing their hands in anticipation of the UMP imploding.
Oh look. It's Florian Philipott, the vice-president of the Front National.
"We're experiencing live the demise of the UMP," he said.
"What's clear is that whoever is elected president of the party will not have a real mandate because in effect what you will exist, is a party split into two."