This was a period when securing a majority in the House of Commons was difficult, and the Marquess of Salisbury's first term as Prime Minister was as leader of a minority Conservative administration the previous year. After the election of December 1885, William Ewert Gladstone took over as Prime Minister for the third time, but his administration lasted less than six months, because a 'Liberal Unionist' wing, which prioritised the continuation of British rule in Ireland, broke away and formed an electoral part with the Conservatives. This coalition won the July 1886 election, making Salisbury Prime Minister for the second time.
Salisbury's second term at the helm was much more productive, since in coalition with Joseph …
Editors. "The Marquess of Salisbury becomes Prime Minister for the second time". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1866, accessed 20 January 2017.]