|Election||Premier at election||Premier's party||Premier after election||Premier's party|
|VIC 26 August 1859||John O'Shanassy||Support from parliamentary factions and independents||William Nicholson||Support from parliamentary factions and independents|
Defeat in parliament (Haines): Beginning of O'Shanassy's first period in office; The Haines government lasted for a little over five months after the general election held in September 1856, and only three and a half months after parliament met; 'Its firm supporters were few, the Opposition led by O'Shanassy was militant and comparatively united and only Childers and Fellows were good parliamentarians...', Serle, p. 260, (see 'References', below). The government was close to defeat on several issues in January and February 1857 and Haines tendered his resignation after being defeated by 29 votes to 23 on a question of expenditure on immigration on 4 March 1857; Victorian Hansard (Argus Reports), 1856-7 vol. 1, 4 March 1857, p.552.
O'Shanassy had difficulty in assembling a ministry -- three new ministers were defeated at ministerial by-elections -- and the resulting ministry included members with diverging views; see Serle, pp 261-262 (in 'References', below). The O'Shanassy ministry was commissioned on 11 March 1857.
Defeat in parliament (O'Shanassy): 'When parliament reassembled in Mid-April the numbers were against the government. A group led by Michie and McCulloch -- largely of mercantile non-conformist liberals, all abolitionists of state aide to religion -- which had voted against Haines, now rejoined him and arranged a new ministry', Serle, p.262 (see 'References', below). The government was defeated on a vote of no-confidence on 22 April 1857; Victorian Hansard (Argus Reports), 1856-7 vol. 2, 22 April 1857, pp 637-638.
References: For a detailed study of parliamentary government in Victoria in this period, see, Geoffrey Serle, The Golden Age: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1851-1861, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1963).
In addition to the reference above, a study of O'Shanassy's premiership can be found in John Waugh, 'Haines, O'Shanassy, Nicholson and Heales: The Old Guard', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 2 (see 'Sources', below), and for a survey of O'Shanassy's career, see S M Ingham, 'O'Shanassy, Sir John (1818–1883), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), on line here. [accessed 3 February 2014].
Parliament of Victoria, One Hundred Years of Responsible Government 1856-1956, (Melbourne: Government Printer, 1957, Parliamentary Paper No. 40 of 1956-58); Paul Strangio and Brian Costar (editors), The Victorian Premiers 1856-2006, (Sydney: Federation Press, 2006, ISBN 9781862876019); Raymond Wright, A People's Counsel: A History of the Parliament of Victoria 1856-1990, (Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1992, ISBN 0195533593). In consulting these sources, note the difference between ministries and periods in office.