Blair camp not hopeful
With 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.