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 had been as leader of a minority Conservative administration in 1885. His second term at the helm (1886-1892) was much more productive, since in coalition with Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionists, he had an outright majority in Parliament, and saw the passage of various reforms. In his third term, the dominant issues were Ireland and colonial warfare. The Liberal party had suffered from their split over the issue of Irish Home Rule, so at the 1895 election, the Conservatives gained the support of Joseph Chamberlain's Liberal Unionist party. Salisbury aimed to "fight Home Rule with kindness", …
Editors. "The Marquess of Salisbury becomes Prime Minister for the third time". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 August 2013; last revised 30 November -1.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1869, accessed 19 April 2015.]