:"For other meanings, see Backbench"

A backbencher is a Member of Parliament (MP) or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition. A backbencher may be a new parliamentary member yet to receive high office, a senior figure dropped from government, or someone who for whatever reason is not chosen to sit either in the ministry or the opposition Shadow Ministry.

In most parliamentary systems, backbenchers individually do not have much power to influence government policy. However, they are important in providing services to their constituents and in relaying the opinions of their constituents. In addition, since backbenchers generally form the vast majority of the number of MPs, collectively they can sometimes exercise considerable power especially in cases where the policies of the government are unpopular or when a governing party is internally split.

ee also

*Jim Walding, a backbencher who defeated his own party.

External links

* [ The BBC's definition of 'backbencher']

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • backbencher — ackbencher (b[a^]k b[e^]nch*[ e]r), n. a member of the House of Commons of Great Britain who is not a party leader. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • backbencher — 1874 in the House of Commons sense, from BACK (Cf. back) (adj.) + BENCH (Cf. bench), occupants of the rear seats being the least prominent politicians …   Etymology dictionary

  • backbencher — [bak′ben′chər] n. a legislator, esp. in the British House of Commons, who is not a leader in his or her party …   English World dictionary

  • backbencher — [[t]bæ̱kbe̱ntʃə(r)[/t]] backbenchers N COUNT A backbencher is a Member of Parliament who is not a minister and who does not hold an official position in their political party. [BRIT] ...a senior Conservative backbencher …   English dictionary

  • backbencher — UK [ˌbækˈbentʃə(r)] / US [ˌbækˈbentʃər] / US [ˈbækˌbentʃər] noun [countable] Word forms backbencher : singular backbencher plural backbenchers British an ordinary member of the British Parliament who does not have a senior position …   English dictionary

  • backbencher — noun see backbench …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • backbencher — /bak ben cheuhr, ben /, n. any of the members of a legislature, esp. of the House of Commons of Great Britain, but not including the leaders of the parties. [1905 10; BACK BENCH + ER1] * * * …   Universalium

  • backbencher — noun A Member of Parliament who does not have cabinet rank, and who therefore sits on one of the backbenches or in one of the back rows of the legislature …   Wiktionary

  • backbencher —    A member of the House of Commons (or some other legislative body such as the Scottish Parliament) who does not hold office in government or serve as a major opposition spokesperson. He or she may be a new Member of Parliament (MP) yet to… …   Glossary of UK Government and Politics

  • backbencher — back|bench|er [ˌbækˈbentʃə US ər] n BrE an ordinary British Member of Parliament who does not have an important official position …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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