each voter is supposed to be electing their own candidate
Not really. I met our local (Tory) candidate at the weekend at a local shopping centre hustings. I found out there had been 40 potentials, thinned down to 7, then a short list of 4. The candidate was then selected by the local party, of which I am certainly not a member. As the majority here was, I think , last time at 17000, it seems that in fact , even if I vote for another this candidate will nevertheless be elected - even though she was, in fact selected by very few.
The candidate is very suitable - young, '30's , female, ethnic, daughter of a Nurse, done a proper job as a barrister having been educated at Cambridge, the Sorbonne , and called to English and New York bar. Speaks Spanish and French. Wish I were 50 years younger .....
I think there should be, say, 3- 4 candidates for each major parties, so we, the voters, could at least select the one we want rather than a very few selecting him / her.