ID 0355

State Government of Victoria beginning 5 March 1880 - period in office of Premier Service, James ending on 3 August 1880

Period in office of premier (see Glossary entry for 'period in office' and related terms)

Service, James
Date of beginning of period in office
5 March 1880
Date of end of period in office
3 August 1880 
Reason for end of preceding period in office
Loss of general election 
Reason for end of this government
Loss of general election
Number of days in office

Parliamentary support during period

Party affiliation of premier at start of period
If coalition government
Coalition partner 1
Coalition partner 2
Coalition partner 3
Coalition partner 4
Party support in parliament at beginning of period
If change in parliamentary support during period
If further change during period

Number of ministers at beginning of period (this may vary during the period)

Total number of ministers
Number from party of premier
Number from coalition party 1
Number from coalition party 2
Number from upper house
Number who are women

Assembly elections contested as premier or after which became premier (see Glossary entry for 'after election')

* to view table drag left or right.
Election Premier at election Premier's party Premier after election Premier's party
VIC 22 February 1883Bryan O'LoghlenSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames ServiceMinisterialists (Conservative)
VIC 14 July 1880James ServiceSupport from parliamentary factions and independentsGraham BerrySupport from parliamentary factions and independents
VIC 28 February 1880Graham BerrySupport from parliamentary factions and independentsJames ServiceSupport from parliamentary factions and independents

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Loss of general election (Berry): Beginning of Service's first period in office; 'Upon the defeat of his second [constitutional] reform Bill in December 1879, Berry obtained a dissolution of the Assembly. The election campaign confirmed the fracturing of 1877 alliance. The NRPL [National Reform and Protection League] was in decline and challenged by a rival Liberal organization. Predictably, the squattocracy and allies were galvanized like never before -- an anti-Berry Registration Society formed to enrol voters for the purpose of liberating Victoria from his incubus. The most decisive factors working against Berry, though, were the depressed economy and widespread exhaustion after four years of unrelieved political tumult. In February 1880, his majority was wiped out,' Strangio, p.66 (see 'References', below).

'The election [of 28 February 1880] had produced an Assembly divided between Service's Constitutionalists, Berryite Liberals and a small, but significant, Roman Catholic grouping. With the latter's support, Service formed a ministry.' Strangio, p.66 (see 'References', below). Serviced was commissioned on 5 March 1880.

Loss of general election (Service): Service introduced his own constitutional reform bill to limit the powers of the Legislative Council. 'When that Bill was narrowly defeated in the Assembly, the governor granted Service a dissolution. The second election in less than five months [held on 14 July 1880] brought Berry perilously close to a majority. Following negotiations with the Catholic leaders, Sir Bryan O'Loughlin and John O'Shanassy, he resumed the premier's office in August 1880.' Strangio, p.66 (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). Note also, Alfred Deakin, The Crisis in Victorian Politics, 1879-1881: A Personal Retrospect, edited by J A La Nauze and R M Crawford, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1957). Service's periods in office are surveyed in John Lack, 'Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Service and Gillies: The Grand Coalition Premiers 1883-1890', in Strangio and Costar (editors), ch. 5 (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 Service's career, see Geoffrey Serle, 'Service, James (1823–1899)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 6, (Melbourne: Melbourne University Press, 1976), on line here [accessed 4 March 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.