The SNP have escalated a complaint against the BBC over its use of "misleading graphics and statistics".

Following a complaint from the SNP over its use of an infographic, which suggested the SNP’s European Election victory was smaller than it was, the SNP has now escalated the complaint and is demanding a much fuller explanation according to reports in The National

The SNP complained that a bar chart was not in proportion to the actual scale of the party’s victory – which saw them secure 37.7% of the vote. 

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However, a graphic used by the BBC to show the SNP’s share of the vote suggested that the Brexit Party and the others were closer behind.

Offering an explanation, the BBC stated that the graph was only intended to be a “rough” guide, which was not indicated, and the corporation didn't remove the graphic from their social channels.

The BBC’s own editorial guidelines on “misleading graphs” state: “Take care when interpreting graphs and charts. They are helpful tools for visually displaying large amounts of data quickly, but can be used deliberately to mislead or shock by distorting the data.”

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader told The National: “The BBC are hoping we just let this slip, but we’re not going to.

"The public have a right to know why the BBC has graphics software which produces inaccurate and misleading bar charts.

"Either sufficient care was not taken in the making of this bar chart – which reduces the SNP’s lead and boosts support for the LibDems, Conservatives and Greens – or it was manipulated to deliberately mislead.

Evening Times:

“The sooner the BBC fess up and fixes this the better. Trying to circle the wagons over inaccurate and misleading graphics only draws more attention to this bizarre situation which will further erode audience trust.”

A further complaint is also being dealt with by the BBC after an economic report on Reporting Scotland from August 15 last year stated that that GDP growth in Scotland in the first quarter of 2018 ‘roughly matched’ that of the UK.

The statement had been intended to refer to data from 2017, but it appeared to refer to the first quarter of 2018 when the figure for Scottish GDP growth exceeded that for the UK (though largely for technical reasons).

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The outcome of the investigation was reported as “complaint upheld” on the BBC’s website.

Hannah Bardell, SNP MP for Livingston, said: “Reporting Scotland getting their knuckles rapped like this will be a major embarrassment for BBC bosses at Pacific Quay.

“More importantly BBC Scotland’s main news programme needs to be a reliable news bulletin – not misleading audiences on Scotland’s economy – and this shows it has got some work to do to regain the trust that it lost in 2014.”

A spokesperson for BBC Scotland told The National: “On Reporting Scotland, the programme team has been reminded of the importance of accurately contextualising statistics.

“As for the election graphic, we have pointed out that the bars were intended to give a rough visual representation as results came in – but the correct percentages for each party were also very clear for all to see.

“Once all the results were declared in Scotland, we produced a full graphic with a clear scale and updated the story. We also shared the full graphic on social media and removed the interim graphic from the archived version of our story.”

Read more of today's top Glasgow stories. 

This story originally appeared in our sister title, The National