The Vatican has released a detailed schedule for the Papal Conclave which begins tomorrow. The earliest we could have a new pope would be Tuesday evening, around 7 pm.
According to everything I’ve read, this is unlikely. If the press has the story straight, there are no frontrunners. Based on what little I know about these things, it sounds like it will take more than one ballot to elect the next pope.
A CNA/EWTN article describing the Conclave schedule is below.
VATICAN CITY, March 9 (CNA/EWTN News) .- Vatican press office director, Fr. Federico Lombardi, has revealed details of the daily schedule of the Conclave set to begin March 12.The Mass for Election of a New Pontiff will take place on Tuesday at 10:00 a.m. Beginning at 3:45 p.m., Cardinals will be transferred from the St. Martha House, the building where the Cardinals will reside during the Conclave, to the Vatican.
>From there, Cardinals will process from the Pauline Chapel to the Sistine Chapel where they will pray Vespers and officially enter the Conclave at 5:00 p.m.
The first possible smoke sighting will be on Tuesday evening at around 7:00 p.m.
If the smoke is black, the Cardinals will reconvene the next morning beginning with Mass at 8:15 a.m. in the Pauline Chapel and mid-morning prayer. Voting will begin again at approximately 9:30 a.m.
There will be four votes per day, with two in the morning and two in the afternoon. (Read the rest here.)