The defeat was occasioned by general discontent about the government’s handling of the Crimean War. The coalition, which had been in office since 1852, had blundered into the war and the lack of a quick victory and the poor condition of many of the troops as reported in The Times led to mounting criticism both inside and outside the government. J.A. Roebuck the Radical MP for Sheffield tabled a motion calling for a select committee to inquire into the government’s handling of the War which was passed by 305 votes to 148. Aberdeen felt obliged to regard this as a vote of no confidence in his administration. In tendering his resignation to Queen Victoria, Aberdeen told her, that in all other political matters ‘….it must be acknowledged that the experiment of a coalition had succeeded admirably.’ He then virtually retired from public life speaking in the Lords for the last time in 1858 before his death in 1860.