Alex White promises Labour revival as he become first major casualty of coalition's disaster

Former Communications Minister is first ministerial casualty on day government parties face ballot-box anger

Alan Daveron, Josepha Madigan, Catherine Martin, Peter Matthews, Sorcha Nic Cormaic, Shane Ross, Alan Shatter, Alex White, Mary White, Green Party, Independent, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Sinn Féin, Renua, General Election, #GE16, constituency, Cavan-Monaghan, candidate, poll, vote, ballot, Friday February 26th, count

Alex White Picture by: Barry Cronin / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The Labour party has had its first major casualty of the election, with Communications Minister Alex White being eliminated from his Dublin Rathdown constituency after the fourth count.

On a day of continuing disappointments for the party, White’s elimination marks a nadir – at least so far, but White insisted his party will survive the mauling.

“It’s very disappointing, as it is for many of my Labour colleagues across the country to be losing so many seats dramatically today,” he told Pat Kenny on Newstalk.

The counts in so far are reflecting the exit polls, which suggested a minor-shattering of traditional election trends in Ireland, with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael barely commanding a majority between them.

White said he believes “Irish politics is in a huge state of flux now” following the economic crash, but the Labour party is “old enough, strong enough” to weather the storm.

“Even if it’s seats in single figures, I think we’ll survive. They’ll be battered and bruised today but I think we’ll survive and we’ll thrive in the future.”

On his next career move, White insisted he won’t run for the Seanad but might return to the legal profession, having first been called to the Bar in 1987, before turning to politics.

“I have to make a living, Pat,” he said.