‘Our twelve points go to…’ - how much do countries really just vote for their neighbours at the Eurovision?

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There comes a infinitesimal each twelvemonth during the Eurovision – possibly it’s erstwhile Ireland’s hopes are dashed again successful the semi-final, oregon erstwhile Cyprus gives Greece 12 points – that we each commencement to think: “Why are we adjacent entering this? Everyone conscionable votes for their neighbour!”

very since televoting was introduced successful 1998, Eurovision has been haunted by the spectre of bloc-voting and complaints that the opus doesn’t substance if radical conscionable ballot for their borderline buddies.

But does everyone truly conscionable commercialized douze points with their neighbours?

It happens, but not arsenic often arsenic we think.

In past year’s competition, astir of the coveted 12-point scores didn’t spell to neighbours. To beryllium wide astir the word ‘neighbour’ here, we are referring to a state with a onshore border, oregon the nearest state successful the lawsuit of an island.

Every state has 2 12-pointers connected offer, from their televote and nationalist jury, meaning determination were 78 apical scores to beryllium handed out. Only 21 of these (or astir 1 successful four) were fixed to neighbours. In 2019, it was conscionable implicit 1 successful three.

That’s inactive a important proportionality of the votes, but tin we truly accidental they voted retired of axenic neighbourly allegiance, oregon a burning tendency to support the triumph successful their country of Europe to prevention connected question clip adjacent year?

The happening is, astir of the time, erstwhile a state gives its apical people to a neighbour, it is for a song that is fashionable everywhere.

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Only six times successful 2021 and 8 times successful 2019 did a state springiness their neighbour 12 points for a opus that wasn’t hurtling towards the apical of the scoreboard anyway. All the others were to top-ten finishers.

The dubious honours astatine the different extremity of the committee besides amusement that portion we each mightiness request bully neighbours, they aren’t everything erstwhile it comes to Eurovision.

Germany, with six countries connected its borders, got zero points from the nationalist successful 2019. Norway, contempt the close-knit Nordic bloc, holds the grounds for astir last-place finishes overall.

North Macedonia, 1 of the Balkans, has lone qualified for the last doubly successful 14 attempts, and Latvia, successful the Baltic bloc, has travel past successful the astir semi-finals.

If it was purely a vote-for-your-neighbour contention and songs didn’t matter, however could the contention person spent the past 15 years ping-ponging crossed the continent?

How could winners person travel from places arsenic acold apart, and with arsenic galore geopolitical considerations, arsenic Italy, the Netherlands, Israel, Portugal, Ukraine, Sweden, Austria, Denmark, Azerbaijan, Germany, Norway, Russia and Serbia?

Of course, neighbours bash sometimes ballot for each other’s songs.

All eyes are connected Greece this year, with Cyprus retired of the last and incapable to assertion the Greeks’ 12 points, similar they person each twelvemonth but 2015.

That year, successful the astir shocking of Eurovision turns, they gave them a specified 10 points – and Cyprus lone gave Greece 8 back. They’ve since patched things up and returned to swapping twelves.

However, that doesn’t needfully mean they’re voting retired of unsighted religion oregon allegiance, and that the opus doesn’t substance astatine all.

Culture doesn’t halt astatine borders, and radical stock successful the music, tv shows and amusement of their neighbouring nations, particularly if they person communal languages oregon a communal history.

The benignant of euphony that’s fashionable successful 1 Nordic oregon Balkan state tin beryllium precise akin to that successful the others. They whitethorn adjacent cognize the artist, conscionable arsenic we successful Ireland are acquainted with euphony and tv from the UK.

It’s not ever casual to foretell the enigma cocktail of song, artist, pyrotechnics and back-story that makes a winner, but a opus oregon creator that resonates with radical and impresses juries volition ever triumph retired implicit neighbourly sentiment. Unless, perhaps, you’re Greece and Cyprus.

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