EBU releases Eurovision jury and televote details (2010)

The EBU has just released jury vote and televote details for the recent Eurovision Song Contest final and two semi finals, which throw up some interesting findings. These details can be now viewed on the official Eurovision webpage. In this post, I will analyse these figures.

The 50-50 televote and jury vote system was used for the second year in a row for the final this year, but was introduced for the first time for the two semi-finals – previously in 2008 and 2009 the ten qualifiers from the semi finals were allocated on the basis of which countries took the top nine places in the televote with a “jury wild card” (i.e. best of remaining countries based on the jury votes) taking the tenth qualifying berth.

For the second year in a row, the country that won the Eurovision Final, Germany, also won the televote and the jury vote, with Germany’s Lena albeit winning the jury vote by a very narrow margin over Belgium’s Tom Dice (and his guitar!); Germany winning 187 points in the jury vote just ahead of Belgium’s 185.

While some Eastern European countries are obviously benefitting from televoting, the geographical divide between East and West in terms of jury votes and televotes was not as obvious as in the 2009 final.

2009 Eurovision Final: Televotes versus Jury votes

2009 Eurovision Final: Televotes versus Jury votes

A number of Western European countries did significantly better in the televote in 2010 than they did in the jury, as opposed to the 2009 where most Western countries (apart from Norway, Sweden and Spain) did better in the jury vote element of the voting. Germany, Denmark, France and Spain all finished up winning more points in the televote than they won in the jury vote; by contrast Eastern European states such as Georgia, Cyprus, Ukraine, Albania, Bosnia, Moldova and Belarus all ended up winning more votes in the jury vote than in the televote. In 2009 France’s entry would have earned 164 points from the jury and only 54  points from the televote but the pattern was reversed this year for their more uptempo entry from Jessy Matador, polling well (151 points, placing 8th) in the televote but poorly (34 points, placing 22nd) in the jury vote.  The main conclusion seems to be that differences between jury votes and televotes seem to have more to do with the type of song rather than geography; ballads consistently poll stronger in the jury vote while up-tempo entries are better favoured in the televote. This could also suggest that a greater degree of unpredicatability has become evident in Eurovision voting patterns this year, over and above the changes arising from the changed voting system; alternately it might suggest that the juries’ voting patterns could potentially have been even more geographical than those of the televoters in this year’s contest.

One interesting aspect is that some countries – mainly the countries that were winning the most points anyway, with the exception of Georgia – tended to win more points in their combined, final, points than they would have won if their total number of televote and jury votes had been simply averaged out; e.g. Turkey won 170 points in the final, 22 more points than they would have won based on an average of the number of televtotes (177) and jury votes (119) that they won. Gemany’s combined, final, points tally (246) was actually higher than both the number of televotes (243) and  jury votes (187) won by Lena in the final. It seems as if the strogner countries in a competition are tending to get a “points bonus”, along the lines of the “seat bonus” won by political parties in different electoral systems, by the manner in which the televotes and jury votes of different countries are combined to produce the final votes awarded by those countries. The table below shows what each of the finalists’ points tallies (and positions) would have been , had their final combined points tallies been calculated as an average of their total number of televotes and jury votes, while also showing how the extent to which their actual points tally differed from  this (positive figure suggests country getting a “points bonus”).    

  Points in Final (avg of tele/jury votes) Points Difference
1 Germany 215 31
2 Romania 161 1
3 Turkey 148 22
4 Denmark 148 2
5 Georgia 144 -8
6 Armenia 141 0
7 Azerbaijan 139 7
8 Greece 131 9
9 Belgium 131 13
10 Ukraine 112 -4
11 France 93 -11
12 Russia 85 5
13 Israel 81 -10
14 Spain 75 -7
15 Serbia 74 -2
16 Albania 66 -4
17 Bosnia & Herzegovina 50 1
18 Iceland 49 -8
19 Portugal 47 -4
20 Norway 40 -5
21 Ireland 39 -14
22 Cyprus 37 -10
23 Moldova 31 -4
24 Belarus 20 -2
25 United Kingdom 13 -3

As yet, the EBU has only only the total number of jury votes and televotes won per country in the two semi-finals and the final – it is unclear as to whether individuals country’s televotes and jury votes will also be released, as transpired for the 2009 contest, but hopefully, and to ensure greater transparency on behalf of the organsiers, this will also be the case in 2010.  Such figures would be useful to assess the extent to which the changed voting system has been useful in offsetting the degree of geographical and diaspora based bloc-voting evident in voting patterns evident in televoting-only contests throughout the the 2000s, or whether the change in the rules is impacting on the voting patterns of some, but not all, countries.

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