Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cultural Voting In This Years Contest

At last I was able to take the time to do some analysis of the results, of course while many sites are looking at the impact of the running order and where neighbourly and diaspora voting exists I'm going to do something just a little more controversial and look at Cultural voting or Block voting in this years contest. When I think of voting at Eurovision I prefer not to deny the existence of block voting. But I do differentiate it from neighbourly voting.

So What Is Block Voting? 
Block or Cultural voting is when groups of countries which are geographically fairly close vote the same way. This does not mean constantly exchange 12's though. The qualifications that I'd make with Cultural voting are:
  • It is usually only one way. 
  • It is common for a group of countries to vote for a country completely outside of the group. 
  • It is also common for the group to give a lot of points to other members of the group. 
  • Not all Eurovision countries are contained in one of these groups. Middle Europe (Hungary and Slovakia) are excluded as their votes can go anywhere.
  • These groups are not scientifically derived but arrived at after a good number of years spent looking at Eurovision voting.
Below I have listed what I feel are the five cultural groups and forces at Eurovision with some commentary on anything strange that happened within them. The results are shown of each of the top 10 in each country and the average points awarded by that block.

Group 1: South-Eastern Europe - Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania, Malta, Israel, Albania.
This group mainly consists of the countries in the south east of Europe who don't tend to always do the same thing. However overall I believe that they do tend to vote in a similar way. They top 10 here was:
1. Sweden - 7.9
2. Azerbaijan - 7.4
3. Greece - 6.6 
4. Russia - 4.9
5. Serbia - 4.8
6. Turkey - 4.1
7. Albania - 3.6
8. Cyprus - 3.3
9. Italy - 3.3
10. Spain - 3.1

Other than the high placing of Greece and Azerbaijan this vote was fairly unremarkable. A notable absence from the list is Germany, who only came 18th in this block.  Romania was the only member of this block not to feature in the block's top 10.

Group 2 - Ex-USSR - Russia, Belarus, Lithuania, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
This is a fairly logical block, consisting of mostly Russia's neighbours and Moldova. 

1. Azerbaijan - 10.2
2. Russia - 8.2
3. Sweden - 8
4. Ukraine - 6.2
5. Lithuania - 4.8
6. Malta - 3.6
7. Moldova - 3.3
8. Estonia - 3
9. Turkey - 2.9
10. Romania - 2.7

There's a couple of surprises here. Sweden only managed to get one set of 12 points from here so I suppose unsurprisingly didn't actually win the block. But Azerbaijan always does extremely in this part of the world. I suppose Ukraine is very high here for a song that came 15th. Malta also did remarkably well here, coming 6th when they came 21st overall.

Group 3 - Balkan - Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Bosnia & Herzegovina, FYR Macedonia and Slovenia.
We all know of this block, it is the various parts of what used to be Yugoslavia

1. Serbia - 11.2
2. FYR Macedonia - 9.2
3. Sweden - 8
4. Bosnia & Herzegovina - 7
5. Albania - 6.2
6. Russia - 5.3
7. Azerbaijan - 2.8
8. Italy - 2.3
9. Turkey - 2
10. Cyprus - 1.3

I'd say the low placing of Russia here and the fact Sweden only came third in the group is a bit odd. It is also noticeable that the three countries in the final in this block came in the top 4. Albania also came fifth, who can tend to be in or out of the block depending on the mood that they are in. Malta also did fairly well, they came 11th here. 

Group 4 - Old Europe - France, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, San Marino and Italy.
This group is what I call a traditional part of Europe that is not the north. Cultural voting here is not extremely strong voting between internal countries it does tend to vote the same way.

1. Sweden - 8.5
2. Serbia - 7
3. Russia - 6.4
4. Albania - 6
5. Spain - 5
6. Germany - 4.2
7. Turkey - 3.9
8. Estonia - 3.4
9. Moldova - 2.8
10. Romania -2.6

This was clearly one of the stranger of the groups as the highest placed of the group here was Spain. This was generally a fairly logical vote, the only surprise was the exclusion of Azerbaijan, who managed to only get 4 points from this whole group of ten countries.

Group 5 - Northern and North West Europe - Norway, Sweden, Ireland, UK, Iceland, Denmark, Finland, Estonia and Latvia.
This grouping might surprise some people. Definitely Scandinavia tends to have cultural voting. However it is interesting to see how all these countries interact with each other. In the final Ireland has not given 12 points to outside of these countries since 2007. 

1. Sweden - 12
2. Russia - 7.2
3. Estonia - 6.9
4. Germany - 5.2
5. Ireland - 4
6. Lithuania - 3
7. Iceland - 3
8. Serbia - 2.8
9. Spain - 2.3
10.   Cyprus - 2.2

This was an interesting group as in almost every country in final that was in the group [except Sweden] received almost or more than half their points from these countries. In addition Germany did very well here, much like when they won in 2010. Iceland too gained points here. Also as we go further down the list France came 12th here, United Kingdom and Denmark came 13th.

So that is all five of the groups I see. Comments as always, are welcome. 

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