17 May, 2013
Brits think Eurovision is all politics: poll
A poll of Britain and six other European nations reveals Brits are the most cynical about the Eurovision Song Contest
On the eve of the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, a pan-European YouGov poll reveals that Brits are the most likely to say that some countries suffer unfairly from political voting, and don’t have any real chance of winning Eurovision.
According to YouGov’s EuroTrack survey, which tracks public opinion in Britain, Germany, France, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Norway, a whopping 75% of Brits say some countries don’t have a real shot at winning the annual talent contest because of political voting by other competing nations.
The UK has entered Eurovision every year since 1959, and has won a total of five times. However, since 1999, the year in which the rule that songs must be performed in one of the official languages of the participating country was abandoned (so that other nations’ entrants could also perform in English), Britain has had less success. It has only finished in the top ten twice since 1999, and its entry last year, musical veteran Engelbert Humperdinck, finished in 25th place.
This year’s entry is veteran Welsh singer Bonnie Tyler, who will perform ‘Believe in Me’ at the final tomorrow night, held in Malmö, Sweden.
Eurovision does not bring Europe closer together
The Eurovision Song Contest was started after World War II with the aim of helping to bring European countries closer together around a programme of fun, light entertainment.
However, the YouGov EuroTrack survey shows that all of the countries surveyed – especially Britain – are fairly sceptical about Eurovision’s power to unite. The Swedes are most likely to see Eurovision as a unifying force, with a third (33%) saying it helps bring Europe closer together, which only 14% of Brits say it helps bring closer together.
Sweden’s 2012 entry, Loreen, won Eurovision last year.
Commenting on the EuroTrack findings, YouGov Director of Political and Social Research Joe Twyman said: “We haven’t won Eurovision since 1997, and a more than decade-long losing streak has obviously had an impact on how people in Britain feel about it. While all of the countries we surveyed have some degree of cynicism about Eurovision, it’s interesting that the Swedes – who won last year – are most likely to say it helps bring Europe together. I think it’s reasonable to assume that were Bonnie Tyler to win, or even finish strongly, Brits might start to feel just a little more enthusiastic about Eurovision.”
See the full results