At the general election in February 1874, he was stood unsuccessfully as a candidate in Cork City, where both seats were won by nationalist Repeal Association candidates. After the Home Rule League MP Joseph Ronayne died in May 1876, the nationalist vote at the resulting by-election was split between two candidates for the single seat, and Goulding won the seat in the House of Commons. However, at the 1880 general election, nationalists fielded only two candidates for Cork's two seats, and Goulding was defeated.
He stood again at the by-election in February 1884 after the resignation of John Daly, but was defeated again. Two Conservatives candidates contested Cork City at the 1885 general election, and one Unionist candidate stood at the by-election in 1891, but Goulding was the last Conservative or Unionist to be elected as MP for Cork City.
His son William Goulding (1856–1925), a prominent freemason who was director several railway companies in Ireland, was made a baronet in 1904. The 3rd Baronet, Basil Goulding, was a notable art collector and the husband of Valerie Goulding, an Irish senator and campaigner for disabled people.
- "Historical list of MPs: House of Commons constituencies beginning with "C", part 5". Leigh Rayment's House of Commons pages. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Brian M. Walker, ed. (1978). Parliamentary election results in Ireland 1801–1922. Dublin: Royal Irish Academy. pp. 115–116. ISBN 0-901714-12-7.
- Walker, op. cit., page 121
- Walker, op. cit., page 129
- Walker, op. cit., pages 334–335
- "A Brief History". Taney Parish website. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
- Representative British freemasons : a series of biographies and portraits of early twentieth century freemasons. London: Dod's Peerage, Ltd. 1915. pp. 100–101. ISBN 978-0-7661-3589-5.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by William Goulding
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
Joseph Philip Ronayne
Nicholas Daniel Murphy
|Member of Parliament for Cork City
1876 – 1880
With: Nicholas Daniel Murphy
Charles Stewart Parnell
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