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.
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.
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!