The Eurovision Song Contest will soon be upon us and there is already a clear group of favourites for the 2017 title. Having the best song isn’t enough to claim victory in such a politically-charged competition though; most nations have clear allies and enemies in the voting which have a huge influence on a song’s 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 in the graphic below. Before studying the Eurovision Song Contest betting, here is what you need to know about the traditional voting trends:
The format has changed plenty of times since the contest began in the 1950s, so to keep things simple we’ve just looked at the number of times that a participant’s song was given an above-average score by a given nation in the final. Unsurprisingly, many of the favourable voting relationships are along geographical lines.
The favourites’ main allies … and enemies
Italy should be able to count on the votes of fellow Mediterranean nations Malta, Spain and Portugal, who have consistently provided their entries with above-average scores. The Italian entries have proven far less popular in Scandinavia, with only one of Iceland’s 14 votes and four of Denmark’s 29 being favourable in the competition’s history.
The Scandinavian and Baltic nations tend to stick together in the voting, as we can see from a look at the countries which treat Sweden the best. Denmark lead the way here, with over 80% of their scores for the Swedish entry being more generous than the average. Iceland and Estonia haven’t been far behind in their keenness to reward Sweden’s efforts.
However, if you want to make friends – and perhaps enemies – quickly then Armenia are the example to follow. Despite this only being their 10th appearance, they already have three allies who have only given them a below-average score on one occasion.
While Portugal and Belgium are also among the favourites, they lack the reliable sources of big scores that the others possess. Nearby Spain and France are the only two nations to have given the Portuguese entry an above-average score on more than half of occasions, while Lithuania are the only country to do so for the Belgians.
In addition to looking at individual voting tallies, we’ve also identified groups of countries which consistently score each other highly. Four of the five favourites mentioned above are part of at least one trio of nations that confer above-average scores upon each other over 70% of the time.
The strongest link is between Armenia, Greece and Cyprus; the latter two are strong allies and both are partial to Armenian entries, with only 8 of the 79 votes they’ve each cast for the others falling below the average in a given year.
For every alliance there appears to be an enmity, and in the process of analysing all the positive relationships we found four three-country combinations who have never given each other an above-average score.
Armenia and Azerbaijan’s local rivalry has ruled out any chance of high scores, but they share a dislike of Finnish music and the feeling appears mutual, with 45 votes between these nations yet to yield a single above-average score.
The other three are a bit less obvious, with two featuring Portugal and Albania – in one case the trio is completed by Belarus and the other by Lithuania – and the fourth the surreal combination of Ireland, Serbia and Azerbaijan.