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Hoses of the Holy in the Parallel Universe

May 20, 2006

Eurovision Voting Explained. Again.

I've posted this as a comment over on Martyn's blog, but I have to post it here, too.

I'm waging a lone campaign to try to get people to understand what goes on with the Eurovision Song Contest voting since they introduced the telephone voting, but I'm a voice in the wilderness. Maybe I'm even wrong, but that's never happened before!

Your media and your Wogans call it tactical voting or political voting, or neighbours voting for neighbours, but that's not what goes on.

Neighbours don't vote for neighbours. I think history teaches us that Bosnians actually hate Serbs, and vice versa. We hate the French and the French hate us. Ditto the Irish. The Danes hate the Swedes. The Germans hate the Turks and everybody hates the English.

What actually happens is that expat communities or border-crossers, or people with particular allegiances vote for their "home" country from the country they happen to be in at the time. You can't vote for yourself if you stay at home, and the English, on the whole, stay at home. There could be any number of reasons why expat Brits might not choose to vote in the same way. A disdain for Eurovision; language difficulties; or maybe our national characteristic of "playing by the rules" just means that Brits won't vote for themselves, even if they're in a position to do so. And expat Scots would only vote for a British entry if the singer was a Scot. You know I'm right.

Bosnians who still live in Greater Serbia (or whatever it's called now) vote for the Bosnian entry. The Irish in the UK vote for the Irish entry. Danes and Swedes cross the bridge and vote away from home. The huge Turkish population in Germany votes for Turkey.

Please don't make me explain this all over again next year. That is all.


  • I prefer your theory to the "political voting" one that gets trotted out every year. I think that the way countries vote is more to do with culture than with politics.

    By Blogger Hel Fire, at 10:11 am  

  • Hmmm. This makes a lot of sense. But is it true Finland won?

    By Blogger roger, at 10:29 am  

  • Finland won, indeed, in a brilliant stroke of telephone vote engineering.

    1. Scandinavian countries bloc-voted for them (or the Finns in Sweden, Denmark, and Norway did). But also

    2. Baltic countries bloc-voted for them (see where Finland is on the map, it's practically in Russia!)

    3. They were bound to get votes from drunken revellers wanting to vote for the most outrageous act, so they picked up a steady stream of points from everywhere else, too

    By Blogger bot37363838, at 11:08 am  

  • I wanted Lithuania to win. I thought it was very clever of them to sing a song that had the line, 'Vote vote vote for us!' Or something. I think they were convinced they were going to win too. Their song was even called 'We are the winners'. You've got to admire their confidence.

    By Blogger roger, at 2:20 pm  

  • I remember the painful years when it was only possible to watch the eurovision song contest if you were into self harming.

    It seems quite funny now though.

    By Blogger SimonHolyHoses, at 3:15 am  

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