Many of the people frantically dialling in their support for Eurovision entries from eastern Europe (and even further east than that) might have been disappointed last night – Polish viewers have been particularly annoyed that their entry did so well on with the public vote and yet ranked so poorly.
That’s because the contest isn’t run on just the public votes – it’s split 50-50 with a panel of experts from the music industry. But what if it was just down to the viewers at home?*
Austria would still have triumphed – using just the public vote actually pushes Conchita Wurst’s score to over 300 points. The Netherlands would also come second, with slightly fewer points than in the judge-balanced system.
But lower in the table, things start to change significantly – the public were not so keen on Sweden, and Armenia’s entry would have been third under a televote-only system (Sweden would have been fourth).
Poland seems to be the most significant loser. Amazingly, having come 14th on the night, they would have risen to fifth without the national juries, with about 100 more points than they actually collected. The European public were more enamoured with the Polish milkmaids’ melody than the skeptical judges – in the UK, Poland came out on top of the televote rankings, but did so poorly with the panel that they were awarded no points.
The pattern is a geographic one – Belarus, Romania, Poland, Russia and Armenia all would have garnered more points in a more democratic system – countries further west and north like Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway get a lot of help from the judges. In fact, a slapdash calculation makes it appear as if Spain and Finland managed to double their points based on the judges’ votes.
Only one eastern country really bucks the trend strongly – Hungary did much better under the balanced system than it would have with just the continent’s votes. However, the public can't work miracles – France would still have managed just one point.
* Calculations so far are a little slapdash – let us know if you think you have a better one.