As any Eurovision fan knows, there are five people on each jury. A very simple measure of how independent these jurors are is the spread in the jurors’ votes. Let’s look at the spread between the low and high vote among jurors at each country.
The above graph shows the number of jury votes from each country where the spread between the lowest and highest vote for a given country was 0 (they all voted the same), 1, 2, or 3 (for example the votes ranged from 22 to 25). So what do we find? (spreadsheet here)
Azerbaijan and Montenegro are off the chart. When the EBU says this is not clear collusion, this is akin to people claiming that humans do not contribute to global warming.
Armenia, after you remove the votes where they did their best to trash the other top acts, shows a pretty good spread. They have a spread greater than 10 for 8 acts. Trashing the other top acts is reprehensible but for the rest of their votes, they have a pretty good spread.
Belarus shows poorly above, but not Azerbaijan/Montenegro awful. However, all of their remaining votes (except Poland) have a spread of 8 or less. If the graph above was for spreads of 0 … 5 then they would look as bad. So a bit more independent, but not by much.
And that brings us to Germany. The specific votes are not terribly suspicious (Denmark in first, The Netherlands in second) in terms of bought votes or trying to throw the win. But they do clearly show if not active discussion of the votes, a jury composed of very similar views. Germany needs to improve. Ditto for Iceland.
Latvia, The Netherlands, and Ukraine have low spreads for a couple of countries, but the placement of those countries range from near the first to near the last. Even with the best juries you will see cases where they happen to be in close agreement. All three countries should be careful in their jury selection next year, but this could well be nothing.
Now let’s look at the cases where all five jurors were in total agreement (outside of the
fraudulent questionable votes by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, and Montenegro):
- Azerbaijan & Armenia placed each other in last place. Everyone knows why they do this – is that an acceptable reason for the EBU?
- Finland had all five jurors placing Austria in first place. Their votes for all other countries had a really good spread so this can be put down to all five jurors agreeing with the rest of Europe.
- Germany had all five jurors placing Denmark in first place. This is a symptom of the issues listed above.
- Moldova had all five jurors placing Romania in first place (and Romania would likely have returned the favor if Moldova was in the final). Again like Armenia/Azerbaijan, everyone knows why they do this – is this acceptable to the EBU?
- Poland had all five jurors placing The Netherlands in first place. Like Finland with Austria, this is a reasonable result and full agreement will happen at times.
- Slovenia had all five jurors placing Austria first. Along with Finland & Poland this gives us three votes across 37 x 25 total votes that happened to have total agreement. That’s statistically reasonable (and in fact likely).
And finally kudos to the countries with the largest spreads (votes with a spread of 11+): Macedonia (21), United Kingdom (19), Austria (17), Ireland (17), Hungary (15), Malta (15), Slovenia (15), and Sweden (15).