IT’S beginning to look a lot like election campaign season, with canvassers galore, but the ugliest sight to see is the people who’d like to be Tory MPs at your door.

Of course, some of them won’t actually get that far. The parties have until November 14 to confirm their candidates for the UK’s 650 constituencies, so right now we’re technically still in audition season. It’s like the boot camp phase of X Factor, complete with a handful of candidates selected by the producers purely for their novelty value.

It’s certainly still embarrassing for a candidate to be announced and then swiftly unannounced, but until the lists are finalised – and the manifestos launched – the race does not truly begin. Despite the media frenzy around high-profile candidates announced by their parties, you won’t know for sure which hopefuls are going appear on your ballot paper until your local authority has made it official.

Everyone makes mistakes. Vetting processes can never be perfect and there’s always the chance a wrong ‘un or two will slip through the net. But increasingly one wonders if the Conservatives actually have a net – or if, in fact, being a wrong ‘un is listed under under “desirable criteria” in the person specification.

Take Nick Conrad, the radio presenter who has quit his job with the BBC in order to stand as a Tory candidate for a safe seat in Norfolk. It wouldn’t have taken the vetting committee very long to discover that this chap is best known for suggesting that a woman who “jumps into bed naked with a man” is partially responsible if he rapes her. “If you don’t wish to give out the wrong signals,” he added for good measure, “it’s probably best to keep your knickers on”.

If the Tory party wanted to reassure core supporters that it truly does not give a damn about sexual violence, then selecting Conrad was an excellent way to go about it. Some might have been doubting the party’s commitment to turning a blind eye, especially after Ross Thomson announced he would be fighting to retain his Aberdeen South seat.

READ MORE: Parliament's Ross Thomson probe to go ahead despite Tory quitting

The man once dubbed #SNPgain by his own colleagues, but who ceased to be a punchline for jokes after it was alleged he had groped multiple men in a Commons bar in front of numerous stunned witnesses, was apparently considered the best man for the job right up until last week. It took another MP waiving his anonymity, and publicly alleging that Thomson sexually assaulted him too, in the same venue on a different occasion, for Thomson to be deselected.

Add to this the revelation that the now ex-Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns gave a glowing political endorsement to a friend who he knew had deliberately caused a rape trial to collapse, and you start to wonder if maybe there’s something about the Conservative party that might be attractive to psychopaths, sociopaths and scumbags. What could it be? One to puzzle over.

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Naturally, though, Scottish Labour have failed to avoid a deselection scandal (or two, or indeed three) of their own. One of the problem with fielding relatively unknown candidates is that in this day and age it’s easy to find out what kind of people they are.

Remember after the 2015 General Election, when an intrepid investigative journalist donned a flak jacket and bravely ventured into the territory of Mhairi Black’s old tweets? Remember when her teenage declaration “maths is shite” was considered worthy of sharing with readers of actual newspapers? Those seem like innocent days.

READ MORE: Tory Cabinet minister and Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns steps down

In 2019 it seems some thoughtful candidates wish to save cash-strapped media organisations the bother of trawling through years of mundane musings, by posting their most offensive tweets at the precise moment when voters are likely to be stopping by for a nosey.

Frances Carmel Hoole, the Labour candidate for Edinburgh South West, could hardly contain herself when a pal made her into a meme. Isn’t this the dizzy height of fame to which every little-known candidate aspires? It’s not enough simple to be seen – one must also be memed.

You know you’ve made it when someone puts your head on someone else’s body.

There was Hoole, incorporated into an advert for a well-known cleaning spray, and pasted in the line of fire was her election rival Joanna Cherry. In a play on the famous tagline, “BANG! And the terf is gone” was written underneath.

Naturally Ms Hoole, who references murdered MP Jo Cox in her Twitter biography, found this hilarious. Tears-of-laughter-emoji hilarious. Calling Joanna Cherry “TERF” is particularly hilarious because it was Joanna Cherry who in May at Westminster personally grilled a Twitter executive about that platform’s inaction over threatening tweets using that term (which stands for “trans-exclusionary radical feminist” and is widely used as a misogynistic slur).

After some prompting Ms Hoole apologised for the tweet, while making clear she believed herself to be the real victim. Scottish Labour’s Executive Committee took a different view. Presumably they managed to avoid making gun shapes with their fingers and shouting “bang!” as she was given the boot.

So who will be next? Which wannabe MPs are at this very moment trying to wipe their hard drives and scrub away their indiscretions? You’ll have to keep watching the UK politics soap opera to find out.