1920-1952: minority governments

For 30 years, minority governments were the norm in Victoria. Parties formed, dissolved and splintered. Among this constant change, the first woman was elected to Parliament and compulsory voting was introduced.


21 October – Harry Lawson holds office but loses majority.


30 August – Lawson returns to government but is replaced by Alexander Peacock in April 1924.


26 June – First election in which women were able to stand as candidates.

George Prendergast (Labor) elected in a minority government.

November - Prendergast replaced by John Allan (Country-National Coalition).


9 April – First election in which voting was compulsory for the Lower House.

Edmond Hogan (Labor) elected.

Replaced in 1928 by William McPherson (National).


30 November – Hogan returned to office in a minority government.


14 May – Sir Stanley Argyle (United Australia – Country Coalition) elected.


In the Allandale District by-election, Lady Millie Peacock becomes the first woman elected to the Lower House.


2 March – Compulsory voting introduced for the Upper House.

United Australia-Country Party coalition dissolved a month after the election and Albert Dunstan (Country Party) formed a minority government with Labor support.

Re-elected in minority government  1937, 1940 and 1943.

Replaced briefly by John Cain senior in 1943 and replaced in 1945 by Ian McFarlan.


10 November – John Cain senior (Labor) minority government elected.


8 November – Thomas Hollway (Liberal-Country coalition) government elected.

1948 – coalition dissolved and Hollway continues as premier of a minority Liberal government.


13 May – John McDonald (Country Party) forms minority government with Labor support.


6 December – after a period of instability, John Cain senior (Labor) elected. Cain’s government was to be the first Labor majority government in Victoria’s history.