At least when used in virt-manager and dnsmasq error is suppressed and the generic exist status is the only thing reported.
This means the only way to find what happened is to stop libvirtd and restart it manually with LIBVIRT_DEBUG=1
libvirt should probably forward the dnsmasq error so virt-manager can give some clue about what really is wrong.
This package has changed ownership in the Fedora Package Database. Reassigning to the new owner of this component.
I think every time libvirt runs any CLI command it should report at least _some_ stdout output to the user on failure. As it stands now many places do not. I had a patch for this a long time ago but it was dropped, probably time to reraise.
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This is better nowadays:
$ sudo virsh net-start default
error: Failed to start network default
error: internal error: Child process (VIR_BRIDGE_NAME=virbr0 /sbin/dnsmasq --conf-file=/var/lib/libvirt/dnsmasq/default.conf --leasefile-ro --dhcp-script=/home/crobinso/src/libvirt/src/libvirt_leaseshelper --adadfasdf=/home/crobinso/src/libvirt/src/libvirt_leaseshelper) unexpected exit status 1:
dnsmasq: bad command line options: try --help