Even the Galway race tent set looks like it is abandoning Fianna Fáil. A number of developers turned down interest from the party in renting the developers' offices as a headquarters for the forthcoming general election. The developers, who are in Nama, were fearful of the bad publicity that would inevitably follow if they consented to the party leasing offices from them.

"They looked everywhere," said one source, who had been approached by the party in relation to a potential short-term lease.

Fianna Fáil did not reply to a question asking if it had been rejected by some landlords. Instead a spokesman said that "where we have turned them down it has been because of practical problems relating to space. We have already decided on the location and will inform the media in due course."