The land of Ikea and princess cakes has been up in celebration over Mans Zelmerlow’s victory, and even some prominent academics are getting in the discussion. As Svenska Dagbladet reports, Anders Sundell, a political scientist professor from the University of Gothenburg, has spent a considerable amount of time analyzing which countries predict the winner, give Sweden the most points, and give Sweden the least points. According to his calculations, Belgium, the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Finland are all the best predictors of the winner of any given contest.

#tfw you can predict the winner of Eurovision
#tfw you can predict the winner of Eurovision

The countries most generous towards Sweden are Denmark and Norway, and then three outside the Nordics — the Netherlands, Ireland, and Austria. I guess Sweden’s music truly builds bridges (at least in western Europe).

Perhaps the most amusing assertion is that corrupt countries have a tendency to not vote for Sweden. Even though Sundell does not assert that there is a correlation between a level of corruption and voting for Sweden, he notes that “countries with widespread corruption tend to buddy vote”, or as we know it: (Eastern) Bloc voting. But even Italy (which has had its problems with corruption in the past) gave its first points to Sweden this year.

Anders Sundell, courtesy of metro.se
Anders Sundell, courtesy of metro.se

We’ve already speculated on which countries best predict Eurovision winners, and the existence of bloc voting is not questioned (why are there pots for semi-final allocation, anyhow?), yet it’s always amusing to hear it in an academic context. What is truly unique, however, is this correlation (but not necessarily causation) between a level of corruption and an affinity to give Sweden points during Eurovision. While most of the least corrupt countries in the world are Scandinavian (and the more corrupt ones in Europe tend to come from Eastern Europe), the existence of corruption does not necessarily mean a lack of affinity for Sweden. Still, it’s a cute take on something almost so innate to our love of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Are you surprised by Mr. Sundell’s findings? What is to blame for this corruption-points correlation? Let us know below!

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Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

Foxx, you don’t have to explain me anything I know that it was not fair.., but I also know (check the voting of dutch and belgian juries) that they now deliberately put Armenia somewhere below, just to be sure they get a 0. Is that fair? So the jury and its amount of influence is not the right solution. Not at all.

Dean
Dean
5 years ago

Australia has accurately predicted the winner and top 3 order 100% of the time. #justsayin 😛

Foxx
Foxx
5 years ago

@Felix Prochain Are you kidding me? It’s not about countries being far away or not. Let me explain: I actually stopped voting a couple of years ago, since my favourites never received any points, MOSLTY due to large diaspora in Western-Europe and those countries always receiving top points. Even if Turkey, Armenia, Albania, Romania now and some others sent crappy, but believe me, HORRIBLE songs, they would still receive an okay amount of points (7-8-10- even 12), while others with better songs, nothing! Why? Because a country as say Finland (just an example) does not have a diaspora here, in… Read more »

Julian
Julian
5 years ago

Since is a university lector of political science and his expertise is in corruption and nepotism I would like to know how he can describe an system where the winner is elected by 50% people vote and 50% by 30 something number of 5 persons panels that are required to vote on a set of strict criteria and the one who sets the criteria has them both on pay roll (has created a network that gives them revenues) and can remove them for not voting right.

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

Darren, it would all make sense if your entries were chosen by people (like in Sweden) not by some dull as*.., well, whoever been choosing it for the last ‘successful’ years.

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

Foxx: ‘..when Belgium’s top points always went to Turkey or Armenia, which indeed, wasn’t fair. Thank god for juries!’ Yes, why giving them to countries so far away, while we can happily give it to our neighbors – the Netherlands? Especially if they also give its 12 to Belgium? Isn’t that lovely? It is now totally FAIR! Oh sweet ‘justice’! Thank god for the most honest juries, indeed! Those juries now no matter what vote Armenians down.. Oh yes! We avenged them for the misery and for all those fake smiles our spokespersons had to put on their twisted faces… Read more »

lacrymea
lacrymea
5 years ago

Seriously, i have no idea where this article is going… Block voting doesn’t only happen if you’re eastern.

Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

Erin :- Usually if there is a bad smell, something is causing that bad smell.

Erin
Erin
5 years ago

@MTD –
“Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum!, I smell the blood of an *Englishman…”
or as they say in the LGBT community:
“Fee! Fie! Foe! Fum! , I smell the blood of a lipstick **Lesbian…”
(*American(s), **middle aged men with a big fat belly)

TBH, I was actually thinking along the line of 3 letter word organizations, but I don’t want to cast aspersions…

Eugene ESC UK
5 years ago

Just because a country is most or least “corrupt” according to the CPI does not mean they are corrupt or not corrupt in the ESC????

MTD
MTD
5 years ago

@Erin – FIFA style 🙂 😛

Erin
Erin
5 years ago

“political science is not about the real world but only about those features of the world that can be studied by methods deemed to be scientific.”
Now complete this statement:
“_____________’s corruption is rampant, systemic and deep-rooted. Undisclosed and illegal payments , kickbacks and bribe became a way of doing business at_________.”
(BTW, the missing word can only be applied to Western institutions…)

Darren
Darren
5 years ago

So….Ireland and the United Kingdom are best at predicting what wins Eurovision, so we know what makes a good song, yet we can never place high, or even win? Makes sense I guess.

Axie
Axie
5 years ago

i hate conspiracy theories but this site has gone out of its way to fit into the swedish conspiracy narrative people have concocted lately

also i cringe anytime people thank the juries for anything

MTD
MTD
5 years ago

Let me just LOL couple of minutes.

“He notes that “countries with widespread corruption tend to buddy vote”.” And then I’ll just take a look of the points awarded in their own Scandinavian garden between each other (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania…) and then I’ll just LOL more.

For God’s sake, Sweden don’t be so arrogant!

Foxx
Foxx
5 years ago

I’m not surprised that Belgium is one of the best predictors. If I remember correctly, this year we gave 8 to Italy, 10 to Russia, and 12 to Sweden, that top 3 sound familiar? Especially since the return of the juries, Belgium always gives its top points to the eventual winner and second/third best. With only televoting, this was véry different, remember just a couple of years ago, when Belgium’s top points always went to Turkey or Armenia, which indeed, wasn’t fair. Thank god for juries!

Luigi
Luigi
5 years ago

Deven year I agree. The song wasn’t my fav but from the start I said the positive of sweden winning and the uk doing rubbish would be that the uk will start do follow what sweden is doing. Well I hope so anyway.

Deven O'Kearney
Deven O'Kearney
5 years ago

Sweden won again because they deserve to win. The songs they are sending are good enough for top 3 or a win. Unlike the UK, Sweden is putting it’s plentiful music resources into good use and as a result, they are reaping the benefits of hard work and careful selection. Not to mention that year after year, even if the standard is low, the quality of songs in Melodifestivalen is always one of the highest. Also, I think Sweden winning with top quality entries is actually helping to change the image of Eurovision in the west. People now think it’s… Read more »

Ivan
Ivan
5 years ago

Interesting. I’m just wondering if the growing amount Swedish composers and producers in the contest could also influence the vote. I’m talking specifically about the jury and the “networking” between them and the music industry in the countries that take part in the contest.

A person
A person
5 years ago

there were more better songs in my opnion because this won because c’mon its Sweden-i didnt wanted this year eurovision on Sweden because we were just there back in 2013 and Italy,Russia,Latvia,Serbia,Albania(not the live) or even Montenegro were much much good songs.Sweden should thanks the jury for the win not the ordinary people.

LOL
LOL
5 years ago

Yeah yeah sure sure. Sweden was an entry “projected” to win ESC. It was more like “Europe, listen to this song, because this will win ESC this year” more than “Europe, listen to all the songs and choose your favorite”. It was all about staging and not music. What songs am I listening now? Russia, Ireland, Albania and Estonia. Do I want do listen to Sweden? NO!!! But thats my opinion. Is he doing well in Itunes? Well yeah probably because of the hype, but he is miles away from Loreen & Euphoria. Anyways, who cares about the charts anymore???… Read more »

paco
5 years ago

A fecha de hoy 27 de Mayo 2015.PREDIGO que AZERBAIYAN ganara ESC el 14 de MAYO del 2016 en algun lugar de Suecia.

Leaf
Leaf
5 years ago

Yeah cos everyone should give points to Sweden !!!!
All of this is loosing it’s charm … I’ve had enough of Eurovision for 2015 tbh

paco
5 years ago

Me queda claro lellendo este articulo,que entonces empazamos a asumir que en ESC hay corrupcion.

Felix Prochain
Felix Prochain
5 years ago

Look who’s talking about bloc voting.. Lol. Funny, though.
The sweden’s music that builds bridges across the Europe is another funny thing)) True, they have (with the help of EBU’s Swedish mafia) established a lovely platform to sell their songs around for countries such Azerbaijan -the champion.

Otna
Otna
5 years ago

Armenia gave some points to the winner for a change – 7 no less. 😛