Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
backbench (plural backbenches)
- (politics, UK, New Zealand, often attributive) In a house of legislature following the model of the Westminster system (such as the UK House of Commons), any bench behind either of the front benches and occupied by rank-and-file members.
- His spacious quarters indicate his transition from backbench upstart to established member of the governing team.
- 1963, Richard L. Sklar, Nigerian Political Parties: Power in an Emergent African Nation, 2004, page 400,
- There was no separate back-bench organization ; indeed there were no back-bench caucuses in any Nigerian Legislative House, and any attempt to create one would probably have been regarded by the leadership concerned as a subversive move.
- 1995, R. L. Borthwick, Churchill to Major: The British Prime Ministership Since 1945, page 153,
- Both Thatcher's and Major's PPSs developed the role of trying to see that those members considered loyal to the leadership won the main positions on backbench party committees.
- 1997, David Campbell Docherty, Mr. Smith Goes to Ottawa: Life in the House of Commons,
- In fall 1984, Brian Mulroney led a cabinet with far more political experience than the Conservative backbench.
- 2009, John Coakley, Michael Gallagher, Politics in the Republic of Ireland, page 301,
- In situations of low ministerial turnover and increased professionalisation of politics, with most TDs regarding politics as a career, Taoisigh could find that impatience on the backbenches leads to calls for leadership turnover to effect promotions.