Bent succeeded Irving as Premier and 'Ministerialist' leader in 1904, while Irving came to power in 1902: see Kathleen Thomson and Geoffrey Serle, The Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament 1859-1900 (1972) 16, 101.
(86) The non-Labor side of politics during the period was split between the Bent-led 'Ministerialists', who were a combination of rural members in conjunction with wealthy members with social conservative tendencies, and the smaller 'Liberal' grouping clustered around Sir Alexander Peacock, Donald MacKinnon and John Murray comprising the more socially progressive members of the wealthy elite.
The Member for the western rural seat of Lowan, Robert Stanley, often voiced anti-motorist sentiments, notwithstanding his association with the governing 'Ministerialists'.
He succeeded William Irvine as Premier and as leader of the conservative free trade faction in the Legislative Assembly, referred to in the political history literature as 'Ministerialists': Geoff Browne, Biographical Register of the Victorian Parliament 1900-84 (1985) vii.
(104) In 1894 the Ministerialists showed that nothing had changed so far as they were concerned.
The vote in the Legislative Council was interesting in that most members were not associated with a party, nor did they call themselves independent, and the Ministerialists, who had previously opposed women's suffrage so strongly in the Assembly, split 50/50 in the Council.