The Swiss People's Party is aiming to gain a second cabinet seat at the expense of one of the other mainstream parties.
To that end, the rightwing party put forward Toni Bortoluzzi, a member of its Zurich section, as an alternative candidate for the Social Democratic seat.
His chances of being elected were nil since the two other main parties on the right and centre-right, the Radicals and the Christian Democrats, were not prepared to consider a change of the government makeup.
Fifty-five-year-old Bortoluzzi is a carpenter by trade. Married with four children, he owns a small company in his home village of Affoltern.
The businessman has been a member of the House of Representatives since 1991. Before that, he was a member of Zurich's cantonal parliament, as well as serving as president of his local party section from 1988 to 1991.
His political career began in 1982, with his election to his village council. He was the mayor from 1986 to 1998.
Bortoluzzi received only the votes of the People's Party and those of parties on the far right. The tally was far below what was needed to gain a place in the government.
swissinfo with agencies