This week, in their smart offices, Emhemmed Ghula, a spokesman, had received word from observers of their dismal showing and rattled through the reasons why.
"People perceive that Islamists are trying to change things," he said. He accused Mr Jibril's party of spreading propaganda and said that voters had heard rumours that Islamists would force women to wear niqabs and forbid them to drive cars.
Among worshippers emerging from a popular mosque in Tripoli yesterday, his assessment seemed correct.
"The Islamists didn't win, and they won't win. We consider them extremists," said one woman with two small children who gave her first name, Amal. "I would think of immigration. They will control the way I dress, I won't be able to go out to the shops freely or sit with my friends."
Dressed in a headscarf and long coat in the sweltering heat, Amal - and her husband Lotfi - are Muslim but were worried that Libya might become "like Afghanistan under the Taliban" if Islamist parties had won.
Although Libyans are almost universally conservative Sunnis, the idea of a religious politicians is irksome to some. "We are all Muslims," said Ghaith Al Juweili, a lawyer emerging from the same seafront mosque. "When they say they're an Islamic party, it's like they are questioning our Islam."
Mr Juweili expressed another common view, that Islamists, particularly those affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, are from "outside" Libya.
Members of the Brotherhood-linked Justice and Development party stress that they are inclusive and moderate, but they find it hard to overcome a deep suspicion of foreigners and paranoia about a hidden agenda.
Muhammad Sowan, the head of the party, said he felt that the Libyan people had been deceived by the National Forces Alliance into voting for someone more secular than they would have liked.
"The coalition at the top, they presented themselves as a party that has Islam as a reference," he said. "After the preliminary results, people are starting to market the alliance as liberal - but liberals would not have won the elections."