A new Pope has been elected by the college of 115 Cardinals, the newly chosen pontiff has achieved the necessary 77 votes to be elected.
The Pope will now be asked by the Cardinal Dean (head cardinal) if he accepts his nomination as Pope and is also asked what his papal name will be. Soon we will learn his identity. A relatively early decision by the conclave means that it is likely the new Pope is one of the favorites, perhaps Angelo Scola of Italy or Peter Turkson of Ghana.
The new Pope will be the leader of the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world.
The identity of the new pope will be announced to the crowd with the words "habemus papam" - "We have a new Pope." His given name will be read to the crowd after that, the crowd will learn his papal name.
The Guardian's John Hooper, who is on the ground in the Vatican said of the, relatively quick, election:
We do not yet know for certain, but it would seem to have been on the fifth ballot. Only three of the nine previous conclaves since 1900 have ended sooner. As we wait for the name of Benedict's successor to be announced, the speculation is that it is one of the early frontrunners - Angelo Scola or Odilo Scherer. The last outsider to be chosen, John Paul II, did not obtain the necessary two-thirds majority until the eighth ballot. But I'm not ruling out surprises. Conclaves are unpredictable affairs. Paul VI went into the 1963 conclave as the favourite but did not get the votes he needed until the 11th ballot.