THE SNP have warned that the BBC must not “squeeze them out of the picture” in the final days of campaigning before the General Election.

The party spoke out amid evidence of the broadcaster falling back into biased bad habits.

Research by The National found the number of guest slots for the SNP and LibDems were tied across the regulated election period which began on November 6.

The shift comes after we revealed that the SNP had been heavily sidelined by the BBC in the days running up to election regulation kicking in. However, the BBC News channel’s round-up of “what the main parties are doing” yesterday failed to include mention of the SNP – while covering the LibDems.

And although there was extended coverage of Boris Johnson from Derbyshire, Nicola Sturgeon launching her party’s campaign bus received just 15 seconds of airtime.

READ MORE: These are the partisan problems at the BBC

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said Jo Swinson’s LibDems should “fall well behind” them in the final days of campaigning. He called on the BBC to give the SNP appropriate coverage compared to the “busted flush of the LibDems”.

Brown said: “The BBC must not try to squeeze us out of the picture on their political programmes in the final days of campaigning.

“We will never be complacent but there are signs that the SNP’s message of stopping Brexit, locking Boris Johnson out of 10 Downing Street, protecting the NHS and giving the people of Scotland the choice of a better future is resonating with voters across Scotland.

“If the polls are to be believed then the SNP are on course to become – for the third General Election in a row – the winning party in Scotland and the third party at Westminster.

“Our progressive policy offering has won us plaudits across the nations of the UK – and boosted our relevance on issues beyond Brexit and independence. The BBC and other broadcasters would do well to reflect this in the final few days.

“As polling day draws nearer, the broadcasters have a habit of narrowing their view and obsessing over the Tories and Labour. But we will challenge that representation of politics as totally out of date and grossly inaccurate. As for the LibDems, their ‘bounce’ hasn’t amounted to much. It would seem Jo Swinson has been found out by the voting public.

“It is odd that the LibDems have maintained level pegging on current affairs programmes and, by in large, appeared more than the SNP in the main BBC news bulletins. It would be curious should they not now – in line with public opinion – fall well behind us in these final few days.

“The BBC’s director of news and current affairs claims that the BBC ‘over time achieves fair and proportionate coverage’.

“She also says there is ‘no exact mathematical formula’ and perhaps coincidentally or perhaps by choice, dismisses the grounds of airtime share concerns we have raised in recent weeks. After the election, we will review all of our monitoring to see if these claims ring true.”

“Our research compiled figures for Newsnight, Question Time, Politics Live, Andrew Marr on Sundays, Andrew Neil on Wednesdays and election specials.”

READ MORE: First Minister: BBC indyref bias was an ‘institutional issue’

A BBC spokesperson said: “Our aim is to cover political parties fairly and proportionately during the election campaign – and to involve our audiences in the democratic process. Our regulatory framework (the same as for other broadcasters) means our levels of coverage relate to parties’ different levels of electoral support.

“That judgment is based on votes cast, not speculation about the upcoming result. It means the Conservative and Labour parties – who between them secured more than 80% of the vote in 2017 – will have more prominence at times than the other parties.”