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Blair camp not hopeful

Gavin Hewitt | 11:53 UK time, Thursday, 19 November 2009

tonyblair_595.jpgWith European leaders due to arrive in Brussels in the next few hours to select a president, those close to Tony Blair are downbeat about his chances.

They have accepted for some time that the prevailing mood among EU leaders is for a low-profile chairman rather than a more charismatic president with international connections.

It also seems there has been a deal done, whereby the top job will almost certainly go to someone from the centre-right rather than the centre-left and that, too, excludes Tony Blair.

The former Labour prime minister has never offcially declared himself a candidate but he is not expecting a late-night call to head to Brussels.

There is still a slender chance that if the dinner tonight is deeply split, Tony Blair's name could yet emerge, but that is not now thought likely by Blair himself.

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