|Member of the Australian Parliament
9 December 1961 – 29 November 1963
|Preceded by||Earle Page|
|Succeeded by||Ian Robinson|
15 October 1909|
Grafton, New South Wales, Australia
|Died||13 June 1990(aged 80)|
|Political party||Australian Labor Party|
Francis William "Frank" McGuren, OAM (15 October 1909 – 13 June 1990) was an Australian politician. Born in Grafton, New South Wales, he was educated at St Augustine's School in Coffs Harbour. He then became a public servant, and was elected to Grafton City Council.
In 1958, he was the Labor candidate for the seat of Cowper in the Australian House of Representatives, facing former Prime Minister Earle Page of the Country Party. Page had held the seat since 1919—the second-longest serving MP in Australian history—and had skated to reelection time and again. The 1958 election was no different, and McGuren was roundly defeated.
McGuren sought a rematch in 1961. On paper, he faced very long odds. Cowper appeared to be a reasonably safe seat for Page, with an 11-point swing required for Labor to win it. However, by this time, Page was 81 years old and gravely ill with lung cancer, too sick to campaign but opting to contest the election anyway. McGuren led the field on the first count. On the second count, while an independent candidate's preferences flowed mostly to Page, McGuren's first-count lead was large enough for him to be elected by a slim three-point margin—a 13-point swing to Labor. Page died 11 days later without knowing that he had lost the seat. McGuren's win — one of the largest upsets in Australian political history — was part of a 15-seat swing to Labor which almost brought down the government of Robert Menzies.
McGuren's tenure was short-lived. At the 1963 election, he was narrowly defeated by the Country Party's Ian Robinson on the first count as the Menzies-led Coalition recovered many of the seats it lost two years earlier. He died in 1990.
|Parliament of Australia|
|Member for Cowper
1961 – 1963