Who would have won the Eurovision Song Contest if the result was based only on the telephone vote?

Billy Ehrenberg
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Sweden's Mans Zelmerlow reacts after winning the Eurovision Song Contest final on May 23, 2015 in Vienna (Source: Getty)

Who would have won the Eurovision Song Contest if we only counted the popular vote?

The voting process, in most cases, is split in two. A jury of four panel members from each country votes to rank the songs, and the viewers at home do the same. The votes are then aggregated to give an overall rank, and the points allocated accordingly.

The Eurovision contest is always given a political tint by viewers, who look for signs of the audience turning against nations based on geopolitical rather than musical criteria.

This time, Russia was said to have lost out because of judgement over its intervention in Ukraine and perceived war-mongering. Sweden, a politically neutral nation, ran away with the night. See the table at the end of the article for a points breakdown.

Of course, with no objective measure for quality we can’t check to see if individual acts are punished, but a look at the panel’s results against the public vote reveals something.

In the event, Macedonia and Montenegro voted only using tele votes, and San Marino using only the jury. This is important to bear in mind when looking at the revised totals: it means some countries would have lower points in alternative eventualities, because these nations’ points fall out of reckoning all together depending on the measure.

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Tele voters wanted Italy to win, but the UK to do even worse

And by a handy margin of 70 votes. The Italian entry was the favourite of the viewers at home, and would have received 356 points if only tele votes were counted. Russia would have been second on 286 and Sweden third. The UK would have lost one point, and ended up with four.

Sweden would have lost 93 points (86 not including the seven it lost from San Marino not tele-voting). Latvia, which got 12 points from San Marino, would have lost 98 (86).

At the other end, Albania and Italy would have gained 64 and 59 respectively.

The juries hated Italy (and liked the UK a bit)

Which makes sense or Italy would have won. It would have lost 121 votes if only jury voting had been allowed, including six from Montenegro and seven from Macedonia. The juries didn’t like Russia either: it would have lost 69 points, including 13 from Macedonia and Montenegro.

The UK, ever the high flier, can feel miserable that its total of five points could have been topped up to 12 by the panels, if only the European public had been kept from speaking.

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