Thank you Kevin,
Interesting viewpoint – if, perhaps, a little prematurely dismissive. Where more than one account is available from contemporaries, some of whom are eye-witness accounts, and that appear to corroborate one another’s viewpoint what should we then conclude? A key point to bear in mind would the chronology of the memoirs and other works that refer to the various accounts (whether conflicting or substantiating) appearing print.
It has been asserted that Daunou (sorry for typo in previous post), as far as I am aware, was one of the alternatives put forward for second / third consul prompting Bonaparte's response to the ballot papers. Cambacérès has been judged, I think, in the round to have not only been a very capable administrator but also reliable witness (the odd sleigh ride notwithstanding).
The substantive point though is, was this a free and fair election? Did Bonaparte have undue influence over who should be considered and elected for the posts of second and third consul (the first had already been decided)? And, most importantly, why would his influence be more telling – certainly not for his debating skills, expertise as a jurist or politician – at that stage. Perhaps the army at his back was a deciding factor?
I do not have access to Vandal – Dwyer cites 1903 and Gueniffey 1907 for publication of vol I.