IN life, it can often feel like the more things change, the more they stay the same.

It is a sentiment that certainly strikes a chord with Kirsten Oswald as she settles back into her role as East Renfrewshire’s MP.

The SNP stalwart was the Barrhead area’s representative at Westminster for two years from 2015 before losing to Conservative rival Paul Masterton in 2017.

That was seen as a shock result by many but it failed to dent Ms Oswald’s enthusiasm for politics.

She gained revenge on Mr Masterton by regaining the seat in last month’s General Election – delivering a far bigger margin of victory than she achieved when first elected in 2015.

It was an emotional moment for 47-year-old Ms Oswald when she returned to work at Westminster but, despite the trials and tribulations sparked by the Brexit saga since her previous stint in parliament, she says there was also a feeling of familiarity.

Barrhead News: Rubbing shoulders with First Minister Nicola SturgeonRubbing shoulders with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

“Not a lot has changed since I was last in Westminster,” she told the Barrhead News.

“It’s certainly a place where the sands of time move very slowly.

“In many ways, it’s an institution that is designed to prevent change.

“The Queen’s Speech was interesting and there was a lot of pomp and ceremony but I don’t know how democratically important that is for people in East Renfrewshire.

READ MORE: East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald returns to frontline role

“It must always be about local issues and how what we are doing there has an impact locally.

“One thing which is definitely different is that Boris Johnson is now the Prime Minister. That has certainly been interesting.”

Politics has always been a family affair for Ms Oswald.

Her mum Helen once served as Provost of Angus Council, while dad Ed has been a SNP member for more than 60 years.

Barrhead News: Ms Oswald’s dad Ed has been a major influence on her political careerMs Oswald’s dad Ed has been a major influence on her political career

It was the influence of her parents that encouraged Ms Oswald to take the first steps into politics and it was the support of her family – husband Davinder and sons Harry, 15, and 11-year-old Tom included – that kept her in high spirits after her election defeat in 2017.

The family’s faith was rewarded last month when she secured her landslide win.

A number of MPs decided to stand down from politics at the last election, left deflated by the abuse they receive at the hands of those who don’t share their views.

READ MORE: SNP win East Renfrewshire as Kirsten Oswald reclaims seat over Tories

It is, perhaps, fair to question why Ms Oswald would be keen to return to the political fray, especially when she also had to consider the impact such a move would have on her family life.

However, she had no fears that her loved ones would fail to back her.

“It wasn’t a surprise to them that I decided to run for election again,” Ms Oswald said.

“I am so grateful to them, as they have always been so understanding of what I am doing and why I do it – none more so than my dear dad. He’s 77 but he was out leafleting and supporting me during the whole election campaign.

READ MORE: Oswald says East Renfrewshire has 'loudly' rejected Brexit

“He has been in the SNP for 61 years, so he has had such a big influence on me and my political career. He has always been someone who tries to improve the lives of those around him.

“It is so inspirational. He was there as my guest at the election count and it was such a privilege to be able to take him.

“My mum was the guest last time but, sadly, she passed away not long after I won in 2015. I’m sure she was there in some way or another when I won this time around.”

Barrhead News: Helen Oswald, Ms Oswald’s mum, served as Provost of Angus CouncilHelen Oswald, Ms Oswald’s mum, served as Provost of Angus Council

During her brief hiatus from Westminster, Ms Oswald returned to working in human resources but also continued to dip her toe into politics.

It seems the ink was barely dry on reports of her surprise 2015 loss to Mr Masterton before she was already plotting her return to the SNP frontline.

In 2018, she became the first ever woman to be chosen as the party’s chair and business convener, replacing current Finance Secretary Derek Mackay.

And she admits it feels good to be able to call herself a Member of Parliament again.

“I have worked really hard to achieve this over the last wee while,” said Ms Oswald.

“I’m really grateful to get the opportunity and so thankful to those who supported me.

“It’s funny because, in some ways, I’m new in Westminster but, in other ways, I’m getting a weird sense of déjà vu with things.

“It’s not quite the same as when I arrived in 2015. This time, I felt ready to get started immediately.”