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Kirsten Frances Oswald (born 21 December 1972)[1] is a Scottish National Party politician. She was first elected as the Member of Parliament (MP) for East Renfrewshire at the 2015 general election, but was unseated at the 2017 snap election on 8 June.[2] Subsequently, in 2018 she was elected Chairman and Business Convener of the SNP, replacing current Scottish Government Finance Secretary Derek MacKay.

Kirsten Oswald
Member of Parliament
for East Renfrewshire
In office
8 May 2015 – 3 May 2017
Preceded byJim Murphy
Succeeded byPaul Masterton
Chairman & Business Convener
of the Scottish National Party
Assumed office
3 November 2018
LeaderNicola Sturgeon
Preceded byDerek Mackay
Personal details
Kirsten Frances Oswald

(1972-12-21) 21 December 1972 (age 46)
Dundee, Scotland
Political partyScottish National Party
Spouse(s)Davinder Bedi
Alma materUniversity of Glasgow
WebsiteCampaign website


Oswald was born in Dundee and grew up in Carnoustie where she attended Carnoustie High School.[3] She attended Glasgow University where she read History. She moved to East Renfrewshire with her husband and two sons in 2008. Her mother was Helen Oswald, Provost of Angus Council.[3]

Oswald was head of Human Resources at South Lanarkshire College for twelve years.[4] She became active in the Scottish National Party during the 2014 Scottish independence referendum, serving on the committee of her local Women for Independence group where she was responsible for local food bank collections.[5]

2015 general electionEdit

On 30 January 2015, it was announced that Oswald was selected as the SNP candidate for the East Renfrewshire constituency at the 2015 general election.[6] During her campaign, she was criticised for sending letters to Conservative voters asking for their support to beat Labour. Oswald stated that her letters served to contrast voter values with negative campaign tactics from the Conservatives that focused on keeping the SNP out of power.[7][8]

She won the seat with a majority of 3,718 votes, unseating the-then Leader of the Scottish Labour Party, Jim Murphy. Murphy had held the seat since Labour's landslide victory eighteen years earlier, and resigned from the Scottish Labour leadership on 13 June 2015.[9][10]

2017 general electionEdit

At the 2017 general election, Oswald lost her seat to Paul Masterton of the Conservatives, who won with a majority of 4,712 votes.[11]


  1. ^ Birth certificate of Kirsten Frances Oswald, 21 December 1972, Dundee District 3928/24 2934 – National Records of Scotland
  2. ^ "List of Members returned to Parliament at the General Election 2015 Scotland". The Edinburgh Gazette. 15 May 2015. Retrieved 3 June 2015.
  3. ^ a b "Carnoustie Lady Aims for Westminster". The Guide and Gazette. 30 April 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  4. ^ Burns, Janice. "Meet Your New Scottish MPs: #4 Kirsten Oswald, East Renfrewshire". The National. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  5. ^ "General election 2015: the winners and losers". The Guardian. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  6. ^ "Kirsten Oswald to stand for Scottish National Party", Barrhead News, 30 January 2015, retrieved 8 May 2015
  7. ^ "SNP candidate sparks row after asking Tories to help her claim Jim Murphy's scalp". The Herald. 5 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  8. ^ "SNP candidate asks Tory voters to help beat Labour". The Scotsman. 4 May 2015. Retrieved 8 May 2015.
  9. ^ UK prediction results – Renfrewshire East Parliamentary constituency,
  10. ^ "How election was won north & south of the border". The Scotsman. Retrieved 10 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Refrewshire East Results", BBC News, 9 June 2017, retrieved 10 August 2017

External linksEdit