The French Polynesian assembly will have second round of voting to choose a new speaker.
In the first round, Antony Geros of the Union For Democracy got 27 votes, one short of the majority needed in the 57 member assembly.
The candidate of the opposition Tahoeraa Huiraatira, Lana Tetuanui, got 26 votes.
A single vote was cast for the interim speaker, Hiro Tefaarere also of the Union For Democracy.
Three members abstained.
A run-off vote is imminent to fill the position.
Mr Geros was the speaker until November when he lost his seat along with 36 other members after the French supreme court annulled the result of the Tahiti and Moorea electorate.