AS election campaigning resumes, most Holyrood parties are gearing up for the launch of their manifestos. Labour and the Tories have already had their moment in the sun, and now it is the turn of the SNP, LibDems and the Scottish Greens.

All of these bar one will be pretty standard fare: a broad statement of intent, a mix of policies in reserved and devolved areas (there is little respect for constitutional nicety at election time), and an appeal to voters in every corner of Scotland to do the right thing at the ballot box.

The exception are the Scottish Greens, who risk being the joke of the day when they launch in Glasgow South on Monday. Manifestos are not always tied to elections - think Marx and Engels - but in modern politics they’re where politicians lay out their stall to the electorate.

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But the Greens have already ignored 95 per cent of the electorate by not giving them any chance to vote for them. Despite co-convener Patrick Harvie saying in 2015 that he wanted to stand in every seat next time, the Greens have candidates in just three of Scotland’s 59 constituencies.

This is the fewest candidates the Scottish Greens have run at a Westminster election since devolution. In 2001, they had four, in 2005 it was 19, in 2010 it was 20 and in 2015 it was 31. South of the border, the Greens are standing in record numbers, going before voters in 447 of the 533 English seats (84 per cent) and 10 of the 40 in Wales (25 per cent).

But in Scotland, home to more Green parliamentarians than the rest of the UK combined, the party will contest just Glasgow North, Falkirk and Edinburgh North & Leith. And only in the first of these, where Mr Harvie is standing, will party HQ spend any money. All the other branches were warned they wouldn’t get a penny if they stood candidates, not even for deposits.

The Greens call it a “targeted campaign”. But it’s no campaign at all. It’s treating Glasgow North as a by-election. As if to underline the emptiness of the rest of the campaign, the manifesto is even being launched in one of the 56 seats where the party is missing.

Sensitive to the accusation his party is in the SNP’s pocket, Mr Harvie has denied it is hanging back to stop the pro-Yes vote splitting and to help the SNP beat Tories. Instead, he said it was mostly down to a lack of funds. But the latest accounts show his party had £250,000 in the bank at the end of 2015, more than it had for most Westminster elections. The explanation seems as muddled as the party’s approach to the election in general.

Because they have no national campaign, the Scottish Greens lack a national message. They have policies, of course. Some interesting ones in the past, like a £10 minimum wage, have now been pinched by Labour. But on the ground things look scrappy if not bizarre.

Despite backing independence, Mr Harvie has suggested voters back Labour super-Unionist Ian Murray in Edinburgh South to stop the Tories. Yet next door, in North & Leith, the Greens are helping the Tories by taking votes from the SNP. However you cut it, it looks a mess.

Despite predictions this election would be a crunch moment for every other party, the Scottish Greens may be the ones needing to look in the mirror. Yes, first-past-the-post makes it tough for them to get elected. But you don’t get elected if you give up.

If a party wants to be part of national political life, it needs to stand candidates and spend cash. And if it can’t find either, it should consider why that is. At this election at least, the Scottish Greens run the risk of confirming the critics who say they are also-rans who got lucky with the Holyrood voting system.