Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Eurovision 2011 post-mortem

I noticed the other day that the split jury/televote results of this year's Eurovision Song Contest had appeared, meaning it's time to dig into them to see what (if anything) we can find. For the uninformed, the contest has, in an attempt to curb 'political' voting, used a 50% jury, 50% public vote system since 2009. In theory, the jury will be nice and objective, reining in any political tendencies amongst the hoi polloi. What's interesting, then, is to compare how the entrants fared with the jury and the public. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Biggest winner under the televote this year was Russia, who finished a whopping 18 places higher with the public than with the jury (where they came rock bottom).
  • Also faring well with the public, perhaps surprisingly, was the UK, finishing 17 places higher. Whilst we may try and take an "everybody hates us, we don't care" attitude to Eurovision, it seems that if we send a 'famous' boy band we can at least win over the public. Now if only they'd had a good song...
  • At the other end, Austria, Slovenia and Denmark were the biggest losers amongst the public. They finished 19, 18 and 15 places lower on the televote than jury vote respectively.
  • This is the first year when the public and the jury have disagreed over who should win. The public went for eventual winners Azerbaijan, whereas the jury preferred Italy (whose 11th place in the televote meant they could only manage second overall).
Finally, as with last year's results, I've produced a map summarising the differences between jury and televote. I haven't bothered including the semis this time round, and whilst there seems to be a bit of an Eastern bias, it's not overly convincing. (Click for big.)

Thursday, 26 May 2011

The English Premier League Under Pseudo-AV: Bonus Material

I recently put something up on Significance where I took this year's English Premier League table and did a sort-of alternative vote analysis of it. This involved taking the bottom placed team out, removing all the results involving them, recomputing the points, redoing the table, removing who was now last, and so on (and who said AV was complicated?). You can see what happens if you read the article, but as a bit of bonus fun, I thought I'd see what happens if you did it in the other direction, and here are the results:
Liverpool and Everton fall spectacularly, with Stoke and my beloved Blackburn doing the opposite. As with the 'proper' AV I initially did, this reflects (to an extent) where these teams were getting their points from. For instance, Liverpool did well against the top teams, but badly against the lower ones, whilst the opposite can be said of Stoke. Neat, eh?

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Eurovision Blues

Eurovision came and went again. I wrote about the impact of automatically qualifying for the final for Significance, (as well as rehashing an old Statscream post whilst I was at it). Azerbaijan won, which was nice, but mostly because it earnt me some £££. I would have liked somewhere closer to home so I could go next year, but I don't think I'm quite ready for Baku yet.

Surprisingly, Italy (returning to the contest for the first time since 1997) came second, despite having a song that struck me as being not very Eurovision-y at all. Nevertheless, it gives us an excuse to compare where the votes for a Western European country come from with somewhere rather more Eastern. To that end - maps! First up, Azerbaijan's points - did they all come from those mysterious Eastern countries which are surprisingly difficult to find on a map?

Hmm, pretty much. How about Italy? Were they equivalently well supported by their Western allies?

It seems so. Strong evidence of the Eurovision politics we all know and love? Maybe. This is of course an entirely non-rigorous look at the question of bloc voting (the BBC did a good article about this a few years ago if you fancy something more thorough), but is quite a nice visual illustration of how this year's top two fared.

"What about Blue?" I hear you say? Well they had reasonably pan-European support, although with a definite Eastern leaning to it. If we'd won over a bit more of the west we might have done slightly better than a mere 11th, but at least we didn't come last. Again.