Archive for the ‘Voting analysis’ Category

Eurovision Song Contest: The Luck of the Draw…or the Running Order?

May 13, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 13th May 2016

Song, performance and staging matter in terms of ultimate Eurovision success. “Diaspora” and “friends and neighbours” voting can also help a country’s prospects of doing well in the contest, though of course not in themselves proving sufficient to win the contest for those countries that can especially benefit from these voting trends. But another key factor that can shape a country’s hopes of winning the contest is the position in the contest running order that they get to perform in, with the usual rule of thumb suggesting that a later draw position will significantly help a country’s hopes of doing well in the contest. Positions in the running order had traditionally been decided by a draw up to the 2012 contest. But since the 2012 contest in Malmo, participating countries have just drawn to decide whether they will perform in the first half or second half of a contest, with the host TV producers then deciding the running order based on what combination of entries works the best in terms of producing a better TV show. (The host country is the only one that draws to decide their position in the Final running order).  (more…)


Sunlight or Shade? Which countries tend to give Ireland the most/least Eurovision points?

May 6, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 6th May 2016

Each year, usually after an Irish act fails to do as well as expected at a Eurovision Song Contest, we hear the usual rants about “political voting” or “Eastern European countries only voting for other Eastern European countries”. Most of these urban legends are, quite simply, ráiméis – they do match up with the actual facts, or the trends that can be observed from a study of recent Eurovision voting trends. “Give me facts” said that legend of English literature, Mr. Gradgrind, and that is what this website always sets out to do!

So what are the facts as regards the countries that Ireland is most likely, or least likely, to win points from at the Eurovision Song Contest? The trends that emerge show that some of Ireland’s very best “supporters” at the Eurovision Song Contest (since the introduction of televoting in 1998) do, admittedly, include a number of “Western” states – including Denmark, Malta, San Marino, Finland and Sweden, but particularly the United Kingdom – but Irish acts have also won higher levels of support from the Baltic States – particularly Latvia – and Hungary than they have won from the rest of the “Western” countries. Indeed, some of Ireland’s lowest scores during the period since televoting was introduced in 1998 have come from “Western” countries, such as Italy and France.

Figure 1: Average number of points, by country, awarded to Ireland at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals/finals between 1998 and 2015

Figure 1: Average number of points, by country, awarded to Ireland at Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals/finals between 1998 and 2015

The map above (Figure 1) shows that there is a pretty defined geography in terms of where Ireland has won the most Eurovision points across most of the past two decades, but what seems to be most important here is probably “cultural proximity” rather than “geographical proximity”. (more…)

Eurovision Song Contest 2016 – Details on the Voting Juries

May 3, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 3rd May 2016 (Updated on 4th May)

In 2016 (as in 2014 and 2015), in a break from the pattern of the previous four contests (in which no details were provided on the split televotes and jury votes of the different participating countries), the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is allowing for a greater detail of voting information to be released after the Eurovision final, in part as a reaction to various vote-rigging allegations after the 2013 contest. In a bid to promote further transparency, on May 1st 2015 the European Broadcasting Union also released the names (and gender/age/profession details) of the 210 different jurors who will form the professional juries for this year’s 42 participating countries.


Making sense of the changes to the Eurovision voting process

April 8, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 8th April 2016

As you may have heard, changes are being made to the voting process for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest – changes that the official Eurovision website claim are the “biggest change to Eurovision Song Contest voting since 1975”. In reality, in some ways the changes being made are probably less dramatic than the decision to move from jury voting to televoting/public voting in 1997/1998 and the decision to revert to a 50-50 split between televoting and jury voting in 2009/2010. But there are notable changes, all the same, with these perhaps mainly relating to the manner in which the Eurovision votes are presented at the Final – changes that the EBU claim will make the contest more “exciting”. As seen in relation to the decision to have “producer-driven running orders instead of randomly drawn onces (introduced the last time Sweden hosted the contest in 2013), sometimes the effort made “in creating TV magic” can involve a lack of fairness to certain participants. (more…)

Eurovision 2016 Semi-Final running orders revealed – What does it mean for Ireland?

March 29, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th March 2016 – updated 8th April

After some delay, SVT, the Swedish host broadcaster for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest, finally announced the running order allocations for this year’s two semi-final contests at 7am on Friday 8th April. While the semi-final allocation draw in January did determine which half of the semi-finals the 18 countries in Semi Final 1 and the 19 countries in Semi Final 2 would perform in, the host broadcasters (as has been the case since the last time Sweden hosted the contest in 2013) get to determine the exact position in the running order that each country/act will perform in. (The same rule applies also for Eurovision Finals, although there was a draw this year to determine the position that the hosts, Sweden, would be performing in (and Sweden drew the 9th position in the Final running order).

The running orders are: (more…)

Analysis of the draw for 2016 Eurovision Song Contest semi finals. Which countries does Ireland want to be drawn with and which do they need to avoid?

January 22, 2016

Adrian Kavanagh, 22nd January 2016

The draw for the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest semi finals takes place on Monday 25th January in Stockholm’s City Hall. After this draw, Ireland will know whether Nicky Byrne will be taking part in Semi Final 1 (on 10th May 2016) or Semi Final 2 (on 12th May 2016) and will also know the 17/18 other countries that will be competing against Nicky Byrne for one of the ten qualifier slots from this semi final. The three Big 5/Host countries that will have the right to vote in this semi final will also be known after this. This post will assess the possibilities facing Ireland ahead of this draw and pinpoint what would be an ideal/nightmare draw for the Irish act.  (more…)

Split voting results for Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015: Disappointing Jury Vote score for Ireland

December 21, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 21st December 2015

The split voting results for the 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest were released today on the official contest website. In terms of Ireland’s vote patterns, some unexpected results emerge here. Aimee Banks’ Realt Na Mara was viewed as a quality, yet more challenging, entry, which was expected to rank higher amongst the jury voters than the amongst the public vote/televote, especially given that Ireland had relatively few “friends” among the other countries that were competing/also voting in this year’s contest. But it transpired that Aimee fared notably better amongst the televoters than amongst the professional jury voters – finishing in 10th place with 43 points in the televote, but finishing in 14th place with 19 points in the jury vote. (more…)

Running Order for 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest

November 15, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 15th November 2015

The running order for Saturday night’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest was made this evening in Sofia, with a draw to determine what half of the running order the different countries/acts would perform in being followed by a running order allocation by the show producers. Hosts, Bulgaria, drew their own position in the running order, while Serbia drew to perform in first position and Montenegro drew to perform last on the night. The running order for each of the 17 countries/acts performing on Saturday night is outlined here, with a brief discussion of how acts previously performing in that position have fare in previous contests. (more…)

The Geography of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

October 29, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 29th October 2015

Looking ahead to Ireland’s debut at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Sofia (Bulgaria) on 21st November 2015, this post offers a brief review of the contest’s history, while specifically drawing out the geographical dimensions of this. This finds that the membership of the contest has been much more fluid than for the (senior) Eurovision Song Contest, with the contest becoming increasingly dominated by Former Soviet states over the 2005-2013 period after having been more dominated by Western states in the first two years of its existence (2003 and 2004). Wins for Malta (2013) and Italy (2014), as well as debuts at the contest for a number of more western states (such as Slovenia, San Marino, Ireland, Australia* and Italy) over the last three years, have seen a growing western reorientation in recent years. Despite this more recent trend, the Former Soviet states of Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Russia and Ukraine are shown to have dominated the contest – especially over the past decade. The post also looks at voting patterns at the contest and finds that the geographical (“friends and neighbours” and “diaspora”) voting trends associated with (senior) Eurovision are also evident at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Finally, the geography of support for Irish acts at the (senior) Eurovision Song Contest is discussed, as a means of teasing out potential support patterns for the Irish act at November’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest.  (more…)

Ireland at Eurovision 2015: Loved by the Juries, Killed by the Televote

May 24, 2015

Adrian Kavanagh, 23rd May 2015

Ireland’s Molly Sterling finished in 12th place in the second Eurovision Song Contest on 21st May, winning 35 points in total and finishing 18 points behind the country taking the 10th, and final, qualification slot, Azerbaijan.  However Molly Sterling fared much better with the jury voters than she did with the televote. This goes against the trend noted at the 2012 and 2013 Finals, as well as last year’s semi-final, in which Jedward, Ryan Dolan and Kasey Smith did much better in the televote than in the jury vote. (more…)