Lucie Jones out to defy Eurovision betting odds and Brexit fears

Lucie Jones out to defy Eurovision betting odds and Brexit fears

It is 20 years since the UK last claimed victory in the Eurovision Song Contest and Lucie Jones can be backed at 50/1 to end that barren run in Kiev on Saturday night.

That price suggests emulating Katrina and the Waves and other previous British winners Bucks Fizz, Brotherhood of Man, Lulu and Sandie Shaw will be a tall order.

However, there is genuine hope that Welsh-born singer Jones can become just the second UK entry in 15 years to finish in the top 10.

Bwin are offering 7/5 the aptly-named Never Give Up On You achieves that feat in their wide range of Eurovision betting odds for this weekend’s spectacular event.

Politics have played a part in the UK finishing last three times during the same period, but Jones herself believes there will be no backlash from Britain’s Brexit vote.

The 26-year-old said: “There is this political vote every year that people talk about and, yes, this year is slightly different with the sort of political climate going on, but it is something that I am not concentrating on.

“It’s out of my hands so there is no point in worrying or thinking about it, I am just letting it pass me by.”

She added: “It’s a different feel outside the UK this year, and also within the UK about Eurovision in general – but haters are going to hate and it’s not for everyone.

“There is a really great team of people working for the UK in Eurovision now and the British public are behind us this year, which feels great.”

No neighbourly love for UK

Recent trends suggest the UK had little chance of receiving strong support from its closest neighbours even before opting to leave the European Union.

Since 2002, Spain has awarded the UK zero points every year except on three occasions. France has awarded points only three times since 1999, while Germany hasn’t given the UK a single point since 2009.

However, almost half of all winners in the contest’s 61-year history have not been in the EU, so there is still hope of a surprise success.

We have analysed every vote cast in the history of the contest – apart from 1956 when the jury’s deliberations were kept secret – and revealed the most interesting patterns.

Italy are the hot favourites to lift the trophy this time, with the UK available at 18/1 to fare best of the rest.

In the head-to-head betting markets, the UK are red-hot favourites to see off Spain at 1/20 and 13/100 to get the better of Germany.

When it comes to an Ashes test against Australia, though, Jones is a slight underdog at 13/10 to pick up the most points.

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