Egypt’s 51 million voters have made history by voting in their country’s first-ever free and open presidential election. They have also proved almost all commentators wrong in the choices they made. The Muslim Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi, standing on the ticket of the Freedom and Justice Party, has 25.3 per cent of the first-round vote to 24.9 for Ahmed Shafik, standing as an independent candidate. Final figures will not be known before May 29, and the runoff will be held on June 16 and 17. None of the 12 candidates emerged as a clear pre-election leader, but the surprises include the left-Nasserist independent Hamdeen Sabbahi, who took approximately 20 per cent on a strong social-justice platform. The candidates with higher campaign profiles, such as Amr Moussa, former secretary general of the Arab League, or the ex-Brotherhood independent Islamist, Abdul Moneim Aboul Fotouh, made little impression in the poll itself. It is highly significant that neither of the two front-runners has been harmed by their antecedents. The Brotherhood chose the uncharismatic Morsi only when the Higher Presidential Electoral Commission disqualified its first choice, Khairat al-Shater, for an unresolved criminal conviction. For his part, Mr. Shafik, a former fighter pilot and long-term civil aviation minister in the Hosni Mubarak dictatorship, was also Prime Minister for a month before Mr. Mubarak was ousted by the Tahrir Square revolution.