THEY are all awful, aren’t they?

That, at least, sums up a strong strand of opinion among the (sometimes) jaded and world-weary political commentators of Britain’s newspapers.

As Labour and Conservatives are both pulled to their extremes - each riven by allegations of deeply embedded racism - many voters are now looking to cast their ballot for the least worst, not the best.

The Liberal Democrats have failed to grasp the centre ground vacated by the two main parties. And in Scotland the SNP’s brand of Nordic-style moderate social democracy is still secondary to the big decision on independence.

Sunday Post

Mandy Rhodes reckons the two big referendum issues cut across party loyalties of old.

“In England it’s about Brexit and in Scotland it’s about independence, yet neither are actually on the ballot paper, “ she Holyrood magazine editor wrote in the Sunday Post. “The electorate are being urged to lend their support to parties they don’t agree with, to politicians they don’t like and, even more remarkably, the most popular candidate for prime minister among viewers polled after the TV leaders’ debates – Nicola Sturgeon – isn’t even eligible for the role.”

Ms Rhodes stressed that Ms Sturgeon was flying in the polls despite a series of problems in health, education and policing.

She explained: “This is not an election based on a policy record in government otherwise neither Boris Johnson nor Nicola Sturgeon might score very high.

“Sturgeon cannot be PM, and yet she has put herself front and centre of the SNP’s campaign to win seats at Westminster.

“She has been the one to take part in the many leaders’ debates and interviews and while it is inevitable that her record in power in Edinburgh comes under scrutiny, in an election that is based on the dual duplicity of ‘Get Brexit Done’ and ‘Stop Indyref 2’, it won’t lose her support…this time.”

Sunday Times

Columnist Alex Massie is a bit of a Christmas election Grinch.

He wrote: “The first and, indeed, last thing to know about this general election is that there are no good outcomes. Or, at any rate, no good outcomes that are also plausible.

“The best that can be said of it is that it will be over soon.”

Mr Massie does not want to see either Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn in No10. (“If the former is less dangerous than the latter,” he says in an asid, “that in no way makes him a palatable or acceptable choice”.)

He added: “There has not been a worse choice than this in living memory. In that respect, these are uncharted waters.

“Two-thirds of Scottish voters say they don’t trust Boris Johnson, a finding that makes you wonder what’s wrong with the other third of Scottish voters.”

Labour, he continues, is a “party whose leadership lies wholly outwith the mainstream traditions of British politics”. The anti-Semitism crisis in Labour “is enough to make it impossible to make a moral case for voting for the party”. The SNP have been unimpressive, he adds.

If None of the Above were a candidate listed on your ballot paper he — or she — would deserve to win a landslide victory.”

For Mr Massie this election is just a "warm-up" for Scots. The big one will be in 2021, and for Holyrood, not Westminster.

Scotland on Sunday

Racism worries Dani Garavelli, right across the political spectrum. She cities East Renfrewshire, once a seat held by a Labour “Friend of Israel”.

Now the constituency is a marginal. Its Labour candidate, Carolann Davidson, last week told a Glasgow Jewish Representative Council hustings the Labour Party did not deserve their vote.

Ms Garavelli said: “With Jewish MPs including Luciana Berger forced out, you would have to be a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy theorist to believe Corbyn was being falsely smeared (although you might notice the way some campaigners with no previous track record in opposing anti-Semitism have developed a sudden passion for Jewish rights).”

But Ms Garavelli points to double standards from Brexiteer newspapers highlighting Labour anti-semitism while ignoring Islamophobia in Tory ranks.

She wrote: “We know Johnson is racist, because racist sentiments so often pop out of his racist mouth. He has talked about “piccaninnies with water melon smiles” and compared Muslim women to letter boxes.

“Like Corbyn, he has promised to root out the problem while continuing to support those who embody it.”