The Conclave to elect the new pope begins today. The first smoke from the Sistine Chapel will be at 7pm Italian time and it is likely to be black: no decision yet. It is expected that the Conclave will go on for a couple of days.
The rumours are that Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, has already got 50 of the 77 votes required. It is likely that the reason for this is that the Italians and other Europeans have put him forward as their champion, whereas the other main group, American-led and wanting a pope from anywhere except Europe, have yet to choose their champion.
The longer it goes on the more likely there is to be a compromise candidate, for which I favour Leonardo Sandri of Buenos Aires, who had Italian parents and knows the Vatican well.
But there are around a dozen papabili. They just need to get someone in place for Easter. Plenty of time.