Eurovision voting is biased
I know what your thinking, "tell me something I don't know" but I have used new data to give us an even better insight into the bias present in the public vote in Eurovision. We can now definitively answer the questions, "Do Eastern European countries favor Russia?" and, "Is Ireland the UK's best friend?"
For the past three years the votes by judges have been recorded separately from the vote from the public. By using the votes from the judges across all countries as a benchmark we can search for bias in the public votes in each country.
The analysis shows that the general public in some countries have a very different opinion on who is the best singer when compared to the music-industry judges. One of the causes of this bias is favoritism towards specific countries. For example, the public in Ireland ranks the UK 12 places higher than the judges, on average. The map above shows the most biased countries, topping the list are Switzerland, Italy and Ireland. Maybe they really don’t like the Euro-pop that the judges favor.
As a consequence of this bias some countries get ranked higher by the public than by the judges. We can look at the data and see which countries get the most favoritism from others. At the top of the list are Poland, Serbia and Romania. There are roughly 20 million people of Polish origin living outside Poland, many in Europe, whose votes may go some way to explain this pattern.
There are also special relationships, countries that consistently vote for each other or even vote against each other. Use the drop down menu to select a country and see how others vote for them. Selecting Russia reveals that many countries previously aligned with the USSR are biased towards there neighbor.
The Eurovision Final 2017 is in Kiev on the 13th May. Now you know how countries are likely to vote before a note has been sung.
Data and details of the analysis can be found on GitHub. Thanks to Gary Powney and Michael Pocock for comments.