To give his ministers a last fair chance of holding on to office, he dissolved parliament at the end of 1847, recognizing that, in the event of a victory, their credit would be immensely increased. The struggle of December 1847, to January 1848, was decisive. While the French constituencies maintained their former position, even in Upper Canada the discredited ministry found few supporters. The only element in the situation which disturbed Elgin was the news that Papineau, the arch-rebel of 1837, had come back to public life with a flourish of agitating declarations; and that the French people had not condemned with sufficient decisiveness his seditious utterances. Yet he need have had no qualms. La Revue Canadienne in reviewing the situation certainly refused to condemn Papineau's extravagances, but its conclusion took the ground from under the agitator's feet, for it declared that "cette modération de nos chefs politiques a puissamment contribué
Lazarus for what were described by General de Launay, his foreign secretary, as 'les importans services que vous avez rendus a Son Gouvernement pendant les graves evenemens qui ont afflige la ville de Genes et l'empressement efficace avec lequel vous avez puissamment seconde M. le General de La Marmora pour y ramener l'ordre'; Lord Normanby, the British Ambassador at Paris, reported to his government that the French Minister at Turin had more than once expressed his conviction 'that during the late troubles at Genoa that city was in great part saved from pillage and destruction by the energetic attitude assumed by the British naval force in that port, and that the French consuls had stated to him that there were moments when the lives and properties of the peaceable inhabitants would have been in great danger, but for the dread inspired by the position taken up by H.M.S. Vengeance, and the effective support given by Lord Hardwicke to the consular authorities. There was less value perhaps in the thanks given by 'the Count and Colonel, Director of the Bagni Maritim, whose gratitude was mingled with a sense of favours to come, in the possible exertion of Lord Hardwicke's good offices with King Victor Emmanuel for clemency for the convicts under the Count's charge, whose conduct had added so much to the dangers of the situation.
'J'ai eu l'honneur de faire connaitre au Roi, mon auguste Souverain, les importans services que vous avez rendus a Son Gouvernement pendant les graves evenemens qui ont afflige la ville de Genes et l'empressement efficace avec lequel vous avez puissamment seconde Mr le General de La Marmora pour y ramener l'ordre.