|Election||Premier at election||Premier's party||Premier after election||Premier's party|
|VIC 11 May 1877||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents||Graham Berry||Support from parliamentary factions and independents|
|VIC 14 February 1871||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents|
|VIC 21 January 1868||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents|
|VIC 30 December 1865||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents|
|VIC 5 October 1864||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents||James McCulloch||Support from parliamentary factions and independents|
Resignation of premier (Sladen): Beginning of McCulloch's second period in office; The Sladen ministry could not resolve the deadlock between the Legislative Assembly and the Legislative Council that had paralyzed government (see the notes to the previous period in office in this database). Victoria faced a crisis. 'It was being governed by a ministry that was neither constitutional nor responsible. There was no Supply and no apparent prospect of getting Supply. The power of the Legislative Council appeared unlimited even at the cost of community cohesion. Most importantly, there seemed to be no mechanism by which these difficult issues could be resolved. Circumstances had grown, in the worried words of the secretary of state in London, "dangerous and increasingly dangerous to the existing Constitution of Victoria".' Wright, pp 79-80 (see 'Sources', below).
The situation was resolved by the colonial office in London reinstating Darling as governor (for the circumstances of Darling's removal as governor and the consequent deadlock over the appropriation bill, see the notes in this database for the first McCulloch ministry). Sladen '... resigned the day after the news arrived (6 July) ...' Wright, p.80 (see 'Sources', below).
McCulloch was recommissioned as premier on 11 July 1869, and shortly after, an appropriation bill without the controversial provision relating to Governor Darling passed both the Assembly and the Legislative Council, and the deadlock was broken.
Defeat in Parliament (McCulloch): 'Parliamentary corruption, the end of the deadlocks, and discontent with the composition of the new Cabinet helped drain support from the [McCulloch] government.... McCulloch lost office in September 1869, after a revolt by the government backbench over his decision to replace [Charles] Jones [who had been expelled from the Assembly for taking bribes] in Cabinet with a party organiser who was not an MP.' Waugh, p.35 (see 'References', below).
The motion, regarded as a matter of confidence, was 'That the selection of a gentleman, not a member of the Legislature, to fill one of the responsible offices of State, is contrary to the invariable parliamentary practice of this country, and a reflection on the character and capacity of Members of Parliament; this House, therefore, feels bound to record its disapproval of such selection'. The motion was debated on 14 September 1869, and carried against the government 34 to 26 in the early hours of 15 September (see Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1869 Session, vol. 9, 15 September 1869, p.1939. After some discussion with his colleagues, McCulloch tendered his resignation on 16 September 1869.
References: For a study of the Victorian parliament in this period, see, Wright, ch. 5 (see 'Sources', below), and note the 'Prologue' in Geoffrey Serle, The Rush to be Rich: A History of the Colony of Victoria, 1883-1889, pp 1-13 (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1971). A study of McCulloch's premiership can be found in John Waugh, ' ''The Inevitable McCulloch" and his Rivals, 1863-1877', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 3 (see 'Sources', below), and for a survey of McCulloch's career, see Geoffrey Bartlett, 'McCulloch, Sir James (1819–1893)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 5, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1974), on line here [accessed 15 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.