Blue have work to do to buck Eurovision voting trend

Analysis of data confirms existence of eastern European voting block, which is all but unbeatable

It's all but official: an examination of Eurovision voting data has confirmed a persistent voting gripe – the eastern European voting bloc indeed exists, and is now all but unbeatable.

Analysis of the 50,000–plus points awarded in the last 35 years reveals that in the last decade the average score of several eastern European countries, and Russia, are double their old Europe counterparts.

Serbia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Greece and Ukraine – whose Ruslana won the contest in 2004 – have all averaged above 130 each time they have entered. Germany musters a measly 59, the bookmakers' favourite France lags behind on 55, and the UK has a mere 40-point average.

Blue have certainly got some work to do to buck the trend – the UK's Eurovision scores have been in decline for more than 30 years. In the mid-1970s, UK entrants routinely grabbed more than 11% of the points on offer – averaging around 120.

However, by the end of the last decade, the UK was struggling to grab 2% of the points. Recent scores suggest the UK should be pleased if we muster 50 points this year.

Still, the UK's halcyon days count for something: the UK's total of 3,016 points still places it in the all-time top spot in the Eurovision stakes. So even if Blue don't win, the UK can always look back on past glories.


James Ball

The GuardianTramp

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