Senior Victorian government MPs say independent balance-of-power MP Geoff Shaw is calling the shots but Premier Denis Napthine says the government will not be beholden to him.
Dr Napthine came under pressure from the Labor opposition during question time on Wednesday to reveal whether he had the confidence of Mr Shaw, who has previously pledged to back the government on the budget and no confidence motions.
The move came after embattled Liberal Ken Smith quit as lower house Speaker on Tuesday, blaming his decision on Mr Shaw's lack of support for him.
But even after Mr Smith stepped down and Liberal Christine Fyffe was installed as Speaker, Mr Shaw again sided with Labor to form a majority and vote against the government's business agenda for the week, which is likely to stall the passing of bills.
Dr Napthine says how Mr Shaw votes is a matter for him and he will not lobby Mr Shaw to support the government business program in future.
"He'll be judged by his decision," he told reporters.
"We are in charge of the legislative agenda.
"We are not going to be beholden to Mr Shaw on any matters. We'll get on with governing the state."
However, Mr Smith said Mr Shaw calls the shots.
"As of yesterday, the stupid actions that he took, yes," he said.
Deputy Liberal leader Louise Asher said when there was a bill that Labor was opposed to, it was Mr Shaw who decided whether it passed.
"He is calling the shots on legislation. He is not calling the shots in government," she said.
Dr Napthine says the government business program helps the lower house deal with legislation more efficiently but it can still function without it.
He says the Liberal Party will run a strong candidate in the November election in Mr Shaw's seat of Frankston.
Mr Shaw quit the parliamentary Liberal Party last year to become an independent MP but remains a rank-and-file member of the Liberal Party.
Mr Smith told parliament on Tuesday he would not be bullied into making deals with Mr Shaw, whose announcement that he no longer had confidence in the Speaker caused chaotic scenes in parliament in November.
Mr Smith believed the independent MP stopped supporting him after he refused outrageous demands put to him by Mr Shaw that went against policy and regulation.
Dr Napthine says he is not aware of discussions between Mr Shaw and Mr Smith in recent months.
Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews called on Mr Smith to detail the outrageous claims he says Mr Shaw made of him.
"If they are outrageous and inappropriate, then surely Ken Smith should detail for all Victorians exactly what Mr Shaw asked for," he said.
It has been reported Mr Shaw demanded the Speaker provide him with a chauffeur-driven car.
Ms Fyffe said Mr Shaw is not entitled to a chauffeur-driven car and has not asked for one.
Mr Shaw later said he thought Dr Napthine was a "reasonable premier" during an ABC interview.
He said he only voted against the government's business agenda because he didn't agree with it and would treat all future bills on a case-by-case basis.
"There's 88 other people in parliament and we've all got a chance to call the shots," he told ABC.
"I'd like to think that I call some of the shots for Frankston and other people might think that they call the shots for their different electorates."