Adrian Kavanagh, 27th May 2012
Eurovision 2012 was very much a case of a mixed bag for Ireland. In the semi final Jedward attained one of the best results for an Irish act at Eurovision during the 2000s while finishing in 6th place with a 92 points tally – in the 2011 semi final (with one more country voting than in the 2012 semi final) they had finished in 8th place with 68 points. Indeed the semi final result was Ireland’s best Eurovision result since 1997 – while Eamonn Toal also finished 6th in his 2000 final and also won 92 points in that contest (spooky coincidence!!!), there were three more countries voting in the 2000 final than in the 2012 semi final. However in the final Jedward finished in 19th place and won exactly half their semi final points tally (46 points) despite the fact that (slightly) more than twice the number of countries that had voted in Semi Final 1 were voting in the final. By contrast, their 2011 Final result had marked a significant improvement points-wise on their result in the preceding semi final, winning 119 points while still finishing in 8th position.
So who voted for Ireland this year? And more pertinently which countries voted for Ireland in the semi final but switched their preferences for the final? The following table, based on the official results published on the Eurovision website, tells all.
Table 1: Points for Ireland awarded by different countries participating in the 2012 Eurovision contest. Note that half of these countries were not voting in Ireland’s semi final.
Latvia, in addition to name checking Johny Logan in this year’s entry, was Ireland’s best friend this year, awarding us a total of 15 points across the two contests. Ironically, San Marino was the only one country that awarded Ireland douze points in this year’s contests, but having given Ireland 12 points in the semi final the San Marinese proceded to give Jedward no votes in the final. Russia similarly awarded Ireland big points (10!) in the semi final but then proceded to give no points to Ireland in the semi final, with a similar trend being noted for Austria (8), Israel (7), Hungary (6) and Spain (5). It is also worth noting that Ireland got a significant tally of points combined across the two contests from Belgium and Finland, while the United Kingdom was again a signficant source of points come the final, the only country to award Ireland anything over the 5 point tally. The only country voting in Ireland’s semi final that improved on their votes in the final was our 2011 friends, Denmark, but the number of Danish votes was well down on last year’s level.
Ireland got no points from 30 countries (out of a total of 41) in the final, while only 6 countries (out of a total of 20) failed to award points to Ireland in the semi final and also proceeded to do likewise in the final. These were Cyprus, Albania, Moldova, Romania, Switzerland and Italy.
On a more positive note, this year saw Ireland win its first ever Eurovision points from San Marino, Montenegro and Belarus, while this was the first time since the introduction of televoting in 1998 that Ireland managed to win points from Greece. Given this and the fact that Ireland managed to get big points from countries such as Russian and Azerbaijan which would not usually tend to vote for an Irish act, it could be argued that (especially in the semi final) Ireland did make new friends at Eurovision 2012 albeit fickle friendships that largely disappeared by the time of the final.
The geography of votes for Ireland is also quite significant. In the semi final Jedward were managing to win (often quite signficant numbers of) votes across the continent but with the final Ireland were heavily reliant on their (in this case dwindling) normal support base amongst the Nordic bloc countries.
To see who Ireland voted for in the Eurovision semi final and final, please read the following post.