The new voting system under scrutiny

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It is uncommon for the month of February, but the Eurovision Song Contest took out yesterday the Flemish and international mass media. After 41 years, the current voting system ditched, so wrote much (online) newspapers, and even But is this really true? We look at what exactly is changing, and what remains the same.

The new voting system

We explain it again: the publication of the points will from this year in two main parts happen. Initially there will be in the final on 14 may take place with a regular scoring all 43 countries, which points from one to twelve. However, it will only go to the points of the juries, either only 50% of the total. After that comes the other 50% 43 rounds of voting, the points of the viewers. All the points that a country gets from any other countries, are in one block disclosed by the presenter, starting with the country that receives the lowest number, and ending with the winner of the televoting. That do not always necessarily be the final winner, and to an example we don’t need to look further: Sweden finished only third at the public last year with 279 points, but finally won the country the Eurovision song contest. Italy won the televoting with 366 points. So will those scores by the Presenters (picture) this year will be announced at the end of the vote.

For clarity: the intention is to make the show shorter , and not just longer. The points givers read from this year only twelve points for each, the other points come directly on the screen. And there may also be potential to save break acts, because the jury members vote on the basis of the dress rehearsal, and their points so already fully known at the beginning of the final.

Too late

The official reason for this change is that the EBU wants to make the denouement ‘ exciting ‘ , and there is actually something to be said: a point scoring with more than forty countries let it not allow the winner known only at the last minute can be made, as in the past but happened a few times. In 2003 still lost to Belgium in the very last ballot with two dots difference by eventual winner Turkey. But when only 26 countries also agreed with it.

In addition, there was in the last years the trend to announce the winner as soon as the mathematical was no longer possible for other countries to the winner to catch up. That gave the result that five countries each still had to pass his points, but that was always what too late: the winner was not only already fixed, but was also officially crowned.

Old vs. new

Except ‘ to make the show more exciting to make ‘ the EBU gave no real motivation to change the previous voting system, in which the arrangements of the viewers at home and a five-member jury of experts per country were merged and converted to points of one through twelve. But that is, of course, it happened several times that in recent years: a favorite of the juries very low ended in the ranking of the televoters, and so got no points in the overall top-10. Also in reverse direction several times that came before. The British boulevard press picked up in 2014 still big with the news that in the United Kingdom the televoting Donatan & Cleo had won, but by a 25e and last place of the jury during the actual scoring received 0 points.

Such matters include from now until the past. The votes of the viewers and the jury members are completely independent of each other and have no direct influence on each other. Each country will award points twice, but no points from two to twenty-four. As an example we take the points of Netherlands and Belgium from the final of 2014, because there are notable differences were in the results of jury and public. For Belgium:

BelgiëJuryPubliekVorig systeem Nieuw systeem 
#7Verenigd KoninkrijkGriekenland4Oekraïne7Finland
#10SpanjeNoorwegen1Verenigd Koninkrijk5Denemarken
4Verenigd Koninkrijk

At Aram MP3 from Armenia ended Belgium 1st Donatan & Cleo from Poland and 4th in the ranking with the televoters, but with the juries they ended up on ae and 26e 25th place. In total they got so no points (previous systems ‘). With the new system, in which each country gives points twice, they would no longer lose those points. Sweden would even overtaking Austria as a joint Belgian favorite (‘ new system ‘). But again to be clear: it is not that the points of audience and jury by country together known will be made. In the table above is that just as the difference between the points and rank between the old and new system.

NederlandJuryPubliekVorig systeem Nieuw systeem 

Also at the Dutch public did Donatan & Cleo the excellent (2e at the public, 25e at the jury), but the other way around could the jury members the entry from Montenegro (22e at the public, 4e the jury) many more flavors. In the new system, they both get the points they earn on the basis of their places in the top-10 of the separate voices. The total Dutch top-5 would, however, remain unchanged.

The above examples show that it is too simple to say that we simply can double the current results, but also vast differences will not arise.

Strings attached

One snag still pops up on when it comes to countries that have not a valid vote . Last year, the juries of Montenegro and Macedonia (FYR) disqualified because there would be disagreements, and vice versa used the small San Marino only jury votes. Starting from this year there will be for those countries a top-10 are based on the rankings of ‘ other countries ‘. The EBU does not give price to which countries it goes, and how that process will work exactly, whereby some ambiguities arise. If country X that State at the top of the televoting will be included in the Group of countries which is based for a top-10 country Y, country X in the lead will undoubtedly get less points of country Y, because it is not in itself can vote and so therefore the total points for themselves. It is a question mark how the EBU will address this situation.

And for the real fans: the gelijkstandsregel goes on the kick. In the case of a tie between two or more countries at the end of the scoring, looked at the joint ranking of jury and audience, which in the old system was used to the points for the vote. The highest placed country will then at the top and so the tie break.


This new voting system gives a more balanced picture of the individual voices of audience and jury. It is no longer so that they can turn off each other’s favorites by very low on the ranking, since those of (almost) no tel more. The doubling of the total number of points to distribute means also guaranteed that all points records this year will die. Currently State that still on 387, the number that took out for Norway Alexander Rybak in 2009. And will the points count also effective but more exciting television and to keep at the last minute? We know that only after May 14.