|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|
Defeat in parliament (Berry): Beginning of McCulloch's fourth period in office; '... [T]he decisive issue for the [Berry] ministry was a proposed land tax on large estates designed, Berry explained, to fall upon "a class that has enjoyed exceptional advantages in the past, and has not contributed to the State anything like its fair proportion of public taxation" [note omitted]. When a faction aligned behind McCulloch voted against the land tax and other budget measures in October, Berry requested the acting governor, Sir William Stawell, dissolve parliament. Stawell refused; instead he invited McCulloch to form a ministry, its intention [being] to substitute a general tax and tariff cuts for the Berry land tax.' Strangio, p.56 (see 'References', below).
The vote on the budget was taken in the early hours of 7 October 1875, and Berry tendered his resignation on 12 October after an exchange of correspondence with the acting governor; see Victoria Parliamentary Debates, 1875-6 Session, vol. 22, 6 October 1875, pp 1258-1259; 12 October, pp 1259-1261; and 13 October 1875, p.1272. McCulloch was commissioned to form a government on 20 October 1875.
Loss of general election (McCulloch): 'The new government was opposed by Berry and his supporters, outraged at the acting governor's refusal to dissolve the Assembly when they fell victim to McCulloch, and determined to obstruct Parliament and damn McCulloch as a conservative ogre until an election was called. The government needed new revenue, and McCulloch ... proposed, not Berry's land tax on big estates, but other means, including, for the first time in Australia, an income tax. Opposition to this last proposal, which protectionists thought would lead to lower tariffs, cut the government's majority to three and it withdrew the bill [note omitted]. McCulloch fought to get the rest of his legislative program through the refractory Assembly ... but the election could be postponed only until the end of the three-year term. When it came [in May 1877], he suffered "complete and irrevocable extinction" in the Berry landslide. [note omitted]' Waugh, p.36 (see 'References', below).
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). McCulloch's period in office is covered in John Waugh, ' ''The Inevitable McCulloch" and his Rivals, 1863-1877', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 3 (see 'Sources', below); and note Paul Strangio, 'Broken Heads and Flaming Houses: Graham Berry, the Wild Colonial', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 4 (see 'Sources', below). 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.