Votazioni nell’Eurovision Song Contest


Negli anni, all’ESC, si sono succeduti diversi sistemi di voto. Attualmente, il vincitore del Concorso viene selezionato mediante un sistema di voto posizionale. Ogni paese stila una propria classifica di tutte le canzoni e assegna dodici punti al primo brano classificato, dieci punti al secondo, e da otto punti fino a un punto per i brani che vanno dal terzo al decimo posto. I paesi non possono votare per se stessi.

L’attuale sistema di votazione, è stato usato per la prima volta nel 2009, ed esteso l’anno dopo alle semifinali; consiste in una combinazione al 50% di televoto e voto di giurie composte da professionisti della musica. Nel passato, furono utilizzate piccole giurie demograficamente equilibrate composte da persone comuni. A seguito dell’applicazione generalizzata del televoto, nel 1998, le giurie furono utilizzati solo in caso di malfunzionamento del televoto o della presenza di una rete telefonica debole e non adatta a supportare il televoto. Nei primi anni di televoto, le linee venivano aperte per un breve periodo dopo l’esecuzione dell’ultima canzone. Nelle edizioni 2010 e 2011, invece, si è potuto votare per tutta la durata delle esibizioni, ma nel 2012 si è ritornati alla finestra di 15 minuti a partire dall’ultimo brano.

Dal 2014, i nomi di tutti i componenti della giuria vengono resi noti alcuni giorni prima della gara. Inoltre, l’EBU-UER pubblica la classifica presentata da ciascun membro della giuria individuale per tutti gli spettacoli subito dopo la finale e, quindi, i risultati parziali delle votazioni della giuria e il televoto per ogni paese. Per aumentare la varietà, possono sedere in giuria solo professionisti dell’industria musicale che non vi siano già stati durante una delle precedenti due edizioni del concorso.

Il primo concorso nel 1956 non ebbe dichiarazioni di voto pubbliche. La BBC usò l’idea di contattare le giurie regionali per telefono nella loro selezione nazionale per scegliere la loro canzone 1956. L’EBU-UER adottò poi l’idea di contattare le giurie internazionali per telefono, e fu usata a partire dal concorso seguente, e utilizzata fino al 1993. Nel 1994, per la prima volta, ci si è collegati via satellite per le dichiarazioni di voto.

Per l’annuncio dei voti, i presentatori del concorso si collegano via satellite con ciascun paese, invitando il portavoce a leggere i voti di quel paese in francese o in inglese. In origine, i presentatori ripetevano i voti in entrambe le lingue, ma dal 2004, a causa di vincoli di tempo, i voti vengono tradotti solo dall’inglese al francese e viceversa. Dall’edizione 2006, a causa dell’aumento dei paesi partecipanti, per evitare che le dichiarazioni di voto si prolunghino, i punti da uno a sette di ciascun paese vengono aggiunti automaticamente al tabellone mentre il portavoce di quel paese comunica solo gli otto, i dieci e i dodici punti. Il tabellone del punteggio indica il numero di punti che ogni paese ha ricevuto e, dal 2008, una barra di avanzamento indica il numero di paesi che hanno già votato.

Dal 1964 la votazione è stata presieduta da uno scrutatore EBU-UER, il cui compito è quello di controllare che tutti i punti siano assegnati correttamente. Di seguito gli scrutatori e i Supervisori esecutivi, nominati dall’EBU-UER;

  • Miroslav Vilcek (1964-1965)
  • Clifford Brown (1966-1977)
  • Frank Naef (1978-1992)
  • Christian Clausen (1993-1995)
  • Christine Marchal-Ortiz (1996, 1998-2002)
  • Marie-Claire Vionnet (1997)
  • Sarah Yuen (2003)
  • Svante Stockselius (2004-2010)
  • Jon Ola Sand (2011–in carica)

In caso di parità: In caso di parità per il primo posto e per altre posizioni dopo che tutti i punti sono stati annunciati, c’è una procedura di spareggio. Ci si rese conto che una procedura di spareggio doveva essere necessariamente predeterminata al termine del concorso del 1969, in cui la Francia, i Paesi Bassi, la Spagna e il Regno Unito terminarono la gara al primo posto. Dal momento che si era previsto nessun sistema di spareggio, furono proclamati vincitori tutti e quattro i paesi. In segno di protesta, l’Austria, la Finlandia, la Svezia, la Norvegia e il Portogallo non parteciparono l’anno successivo.

L’attuale regola di spareggio prevede che, nel caso in cui due o più paesi siano in pareggio per il primo posto e per altri posti, è vincitrice la canzone che ha ricevuto punti dal maggior numero di paesi. Se anche in questo caso c’è un pareggio, la regola prevede che a vincere sia il paese che ha ricevuto più volte i dodici punti. Nel caso i paesi continuino ad essere in pareggio, si continua con i dieci punti, gli otto punti, e così via.

Nel 1991, venne utilizzata la procedura di spareggio quando la Svezia e la Francia ebbero entrambe 146 punti al termine delle votazioni. In quell’anno, la regola di spareggio era leggermente diversa e non prevedeva che si tenesse conto dei punti ricevuti dal maggior numero di paesi. Sia la Svezia che la Francia avevano ricevuto lo stesso numero di volte i dodici punti (quattro volte). Si passo quindi a contare quante volte ognuno dei brani avesse ricevuto i dieci punti e a questo punto venne dichiarata vincitrice la Svezia, rappresentata da Carola con la canzone Fångad av en stormvind, che aveva ricevuto cinque volte i dieci punti contro le due della Francia. Così, la canzone francese,Le dernier qui a parlé…, eseguita da Amina, arrivò al secondo posto.

Nul points / Nil points: Ovvero, Zero punti! Dal quando ciascuno dei paesi partecipanti esprime i propri voti, con l’attuale sistema di punteggio è raro che una canzone non riesca a ricevere nessun voto da tutti. Secondo il regolamento attuale ciò significa che la canzone non è riuscita a entrare nelle le prime dieci di ogni paese.

Quando era in vigore il precedente sistema di voto, comunque, i giurati davano punti individualmente e solo alla loro singola canzone preferita, un sistema che presumibilmente poteva far sì che alcuni brani non ricevessero nemmeno un punto. Anche se, non fu così fino al 1967, il settimo anno in cui quel sistema era in vigore.

Quando accade che un brano non riceva nemmeno un punto, i media britannici usano l’espressione nul points (pronunciato come se fosse francese, anche se la frase è priva di significato in francese). In realtà la frase nul points non è mai stata pronunciata durante la presentazione del concorso. In francese “nessun punto” è pas de points e zero point, e nessuna di queste frasi vengono usate nel concorso poiché gli zero punti non sono annunciati dai presentatori.

I brani che non hanno ricevuto punti, prima dall’introduzione del sistema di voto attuale, nel 1975 sono i seguenti:

  • Nel 1962, Belgio: “Ton nom” – Fud Leclerc; Spagna: “Llámame” – Victor Balaguer;  Austria: “Nur in der Wiener Luft” – Eleonore Schwarz; Paesi Bassi: “Katinka” – De Spelbrekers
  • Nel 1963, Paesi Bassi: “Een speeldoos” – Annie Palmen; Norvegia: “Solhverv” – Anita Thallaug; Finlandia:  “Muistojeni laulu” – Laila Halme; Svezia: “En gång i Stockholm” – Monica Zetterlund
  • Nel 1964, Germania: “Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne” – Nora Nova; Portogallo: “Oração” – António Calvário; Jugoslavia: “Život je sklopio krug” – Sabahudin Kurt; Svizzera: “I miei pensieri” – Anita Traversi
  • Nel 1965, Spagna:  “¡Qué bueno, qué bueno!” – Conchita Bautista; Germania: “Paradies, wo bist du?” – Ulla Wiesner; Belgio: “Als het weer lente is” – Lize Marke; Finlandia: “Aurinko laskee länteen” – Viktor Klimenko
  • Nel 1966, Monaco: “Bien plus fort” – Tereza Kesovija; Italia: “Dio, come ti amo” – Domenico Modugno
  • Nel 1967, Svizzera: “Quel cœur vas-tu briser?” – Géraldine
  • Nel 1970, Luxembourg: “Je suis tombé du ciel” – David Alexandre Winter

I brani che non hanno ricevuto punti, dall’introduzione del sistema di voto attuale, nel 1975 sono i seguenti:

  • nel 1978, Norvegia: “Mil etter mil” – Jahn Teigen
  • nel 1981, Norvegia: “Aldri i livet” – Finn Kalvik
  • nel 1982, Finlandia: “Nuku pommiin” – Kojo
  • nel 1983, Turchia: “Opera” – Çetin Alp & Short Wave
  • nel 1983, Spagna: “¿Quién maneja mi barca?” – Remedios Amaya
  • nel 1987, Turchia: “Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne” – Seyyal Taner and Grup Locomotif
  • nel 1988, Austria: “Lisa Mona Lisa” – Wilfried
  • nel 1989, Islanda: “Það sem enginn sér” – Daníel Ágúst
  • nel 1991, Austria: “Venedig im Regen” – Thomas Forstner
  • nel 1994, Lituania: “Lopšinė mylimai” – Ovidijus Vyšniauskas
  • nel 1997, Norvegia: “San Francisco” – Tor Endresen 
  • nel 1997, Portogallo: “Antes do adeus” – Célia Lawson
  • nel 1998, Svizzera: “Lass’ ihn” – Gunvor
  • nel 2003, Regno Unito: “Cry Baby” – Jemini
  • nel 2004 (Semi-Finale), Svizzera: “Celebrate” – Piero & The MusicStars
  • nel 2009 (Prima Semi-Finale), Repubblica Ceca: “Aven Romale” – Gypsy.cz
  • nel 2015 (Finale), Germania: “Black Smoke” – Ann Sophie; “I Am Yours” – The Makemakes

Block voting all’Eurovision Song Contest dal 2001 al 2005 secondo Derek Gatherer (2006): Giallo:  “The Pyrenean Axis”, Arancione:  “The Partial Benelux”, Blu:  “The Viking Empire”, Rosso:  “The Warsaw Pakt” e Verde: “The Balkan Block”. 

Block voting: L’analisi dei risultati, a volte, mette in evidenza il verificarsi del cosiddetto “block voting” e cioè lo scambio di voti fra paesi geograficamente e culturalmente vicini. È una questione di dibattito che si spiega principalmente con alleanze politiche coscienti o con una tendenza per tali paesi ad avere gusti musicali simili. Diversi paesi possono essere organizzati in blocchi di voto i quali spesso si scambiano i punteggi più alti.

I diversi sistemi di voto negli anni:

Anno Punteggio Sistema di voto
1956 2 punti Due giurati per ogni paese assegnano due punti alla loro canzone preferita.
1957-1961, 1967-1969 1 – 10 punti Dieci giurati per ogni paese hanno a disposizione un punto ciascuno da dare solo alla loro canzone preferita.
1962 3, 2 e 1 punto Ognuno dei dieci giurati per ogni paese assegna punti alle sue tre canzoni preferite.
1963 5, 4, 3, 2 e 1 punto Ognuno dei venti giurati per ogni paese assegna punti alle sue cinque canzoni preferite.
1964-1966 5, 3 e 1 punto Ognuno dei dieci giurati per ogni paese assegna punti alle sue tre canzoni preferite.
1970 1 – 10 punti Dieci giurati per ogni paese hanno a disposizione dieci punti da dividere fra le loro canzoni preferite. Viene introdotto un sistema di spareggio in caso di parità.
1974 1 – 5 punti Dieci giurati per ogni paese hanno a disposizione cinque punti da dividere fra le loro canzoni preferite. Viene introdotto un sistema di spareggio in caso di parità.
1971-1973 5, 4, 3, 2 e 1 punto Due giurati (uno tra 16 e 25 anni e l’altro tra 25 e 55 anni) votano ogni canzone con un punteggio da 1 a 5 punti.
1975-1996 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 e 1 punto Ogni nazione ha almeno un giurato che assegna i punti ai dieci brani preferiti.
1997-2003 Alcune nazioni usano la giuria e altre il televoto per decidere i dieci brani migliori.
1998-2008 Tutte le nazioni usano il televoto per decidere i dieci brani migliori. La giuria resta solo in caso di problemi tecnici o di nazioni in cui la rete telefonica non supporti un adeguato sistema di televoto.
2009-2012 Per tutte le nazioni il voto è deciso da una combinazione al 50/50 di giuria e televoto.
2013 Le giurie di ogni nazioni devono stilare la classifica completa di tutti i brani in gara e con i risultati del televoto viene stilata un’altra classifica. La scelta dei dieci brani migliori avviene combinando le due classifiche.

Il sistema di voto più utilizzato, diverso quello attuale, è stato quello usato fino al concorso 1969. Questo sistema era stato utilizzato tra il 1957 e il 1961, e successivamente tra il 1967 e il 1969. Dieci giurati in ogni paese ognuno che davano un solo voto alla loro canzone preferita. Nel 1969 questo portò a quattro paesi pari merito al primo posto (Regno Unito, Paesi Bassi, Francia e Spagna), e al tempo non vi era alcuna procedura di spareggio. Un seconda votazione fu introdotta nel 1970 in caso di parità.Il sistema di voto più utilizzato, diverso quello attuale, è stato quello usato fino al concorso 1969. Questo sistema era stato utilizzato tra il 1957 e il 1961, e successivamente tra il 1967 e il 1969. Dieci giurati in ogni paese ognuno che davano un solo voto alla loro canzone preferita. Nel 1969 questo portò a quattro paesi pari merito al primo posto (Regno Unito, Paesi Bassi, Francia e Spagna), e al tempo non vi era alcuna procedura di spareggio. Un seconda votazione fu introdotta nel 1970 in caso di parità.

Tra il 1962 e il 1966, fu utilizzato un sistema di voto più vicino a quello attuale. Nel 1962 ogni paese premiava i tre brani migliori con tre, due e un punto; nel 1963, venivano premiati i primi cinque assegnando da 5 a un punto; dal 1964 fino al 1966, si ritornava a premiare i tre brani migliori, ma assegnando uno, tre e cinque punti. Con quest’ultimo sistema, vi era una regola aggiuntiva grazie alla quale ogni paese poteva scegliere di non dare punti ai tre paesi, ma premiare due paesi (dando tre punti a un paese e sei all’altro). Nel 1965 il Belgio assegnò al Regno Unito sei punti, e all’Italia tre punti. Il sistema, inoltre, permetteva anche di dare 9 punti ad un unico paese, sebbene non sia mai successo.

Nei concorsi del 1971, 1972, e 1973, per la prima volta, i giurati apparivano in video. Ogni paese era rappresentato da due giurati – uno sotto i 25 anni e l’altro al di sopra, con almeno dieci anni di differenza d’età. Ogni giurato dava un minimo di un punto sino ad un massimo di cinque punti per ogni canzone. Nel 1974 fu utilizzato il sistema precedente con i dieci giurati, e l’anno successivo fu introdotto l’attuale sistema. I portavoce assegnano i punti ai dieci brani migliori, sino al 1993 collegati telefonicamente e dal 1994 in video,con collegamento satellitare fino alla sede.

Il concorso 2004 ha visto per la prima volta istituire una semifinale, ma questo ha portato ad un leggero cambiamento nel modo di voto rispetto agli anni precedenti. Per la prima volta, i paesi che non si sono qualificati nella semifinale hanno comunque potuto votare nella Finale. Ciò ha fatto sì che l’Ucraina, rappresentata da Ruslana, vincesse col punteggio record di 280 punti. Se avessero votato solo i finalisti avrebbe vinto la Serbia e Montenegro con Željko Joksimovic con 190 punti – 15 punti di vantaggio su Ruslana, che avrebbe avuto 175 punti. Ad oggi, i paesi non qualificati possono ancora votare nella Finale.

Nel 2006 accadde un fatto eccezionale; pur non prendendo parte al concorso per uno scandalo nel processo di selezione, la Serbia e Montenegro mantenne il diritto di voto sia nella Semifinale che nella Finale.

Con l’introduzione delle due Semifinali, nel 2008 fu creato un nuovo metodo di selezione dei finalisti. Le prime nove canzoni classificate col  televoto si qualificavano per la finale, insieme a una canzone scelta dalle giurie di back-up. Questo metodo, nella maggior parte dei casi significava che il decimo brano nella classifica del televoto non riuscì a qualificarsi, e attirò alcune critiche, soprattutto dalla ERI di Macedonia, che sia nel 2008 che nel 2009 arrivò al 10 ° posto col televoto. Nel 2010 il sistema usato nella Finale 2009, col il vincitore fu selezionato da una combinazione di televoto e giuria, è stato utilizzato anche per selezionare i semifinalisti. Dal 2013 le giurie devono classificare tutte le canzoni in gara e non solo le prime dieci. Anche con il televoto viene stilata un classifica di tutti i brani. Ogni paese, poi, combina le due classifiche creandone una terza in cui vengono presi solo i primi dieci ai quali vengono assegnati i classici 12, 10, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 punto.

Interessante classifica sulla somma dei punteggi ricevuti da tutti i paesi, in tutte le edizioni dell'ESC (1957-2014). Interessante la posizione dell'Italia nonostante la lunga assenza e le edizioni saltate.

Interessante classifica sulla somma dei punteggi ricevuti da tutti i paesi, in tutte le edizioni dell’ESC (1957-2014). Interessante la posizione dell’Italia nonostante la lunga assenza e le edizioni saltate.

The voting system used in the contest has changed over the years. The current system has been in place since 2016, and is a positional voting system. Each country awards two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one from their professional jury of votes of five music professionals and the other from televoting.

Historically, a country’s votes were decided by an internal jury, but in 1997 five countries (Austria, Switzerland, Germany, Sweden and the United Kingdom) experimented with televoting, giving members of the public in those countries the opportunity to vote en masse for their favourite songs. The experiment was a success, and from 1998 onwards all countries were encouraged to use televoting wherever possible. Back-up juries are still used by each country, in the event of a televoting failure. Nowadays members of the public may also vote by SMS, in addition to televoting. In every case, every country cannot vote for its own song From 2013, the public may also vote via a mobile app.

The current method for ranking entries, introduced in 2016, is to sum together the points calculated from the telephone vote and the jury separately. Prior to this, the jury and televoting rankings were combined 50/50 before the number of points were calculated. It was first used in the final of the 2009 edition, and extended the following year to the semi-finals.

Since 1964 the voting has been presided over by the EBU scrutineer, who is responsible for ensuring that all points are allocated correctly and in turn. Since 2011, the Executive Supervisor was supported by an Event Supervisor, to oversee and coordinate all event-related matters on behalf of the EBU. Sietse Bakker served in the role for the first six years, replaced by Nadja Burkhardt.

The following are the scrutineers and Executive Supervisors of the Eurovision Song Contest appointed by the EBU:

Country Name Year(s)
  Switzerland Rolf Liebermann 1956–57
None 1958–63
 Yugoslavia Miroslav Vilček 1964–65
 United Kingdom Clifford Brown 1966–77
  Switzerland Frank Naef 1978–92
 Denmark Christian Clausen 1993–95
 France Christine Marchal-Ortiz 1996, 1998–2002
Marie-Claire Vionnet 1997
 United Kingdom Sarah Yuen 2003
 Sweden Svante Stockselius 2004–10
 Norway Jon Ola Sand 2011–

According to one study of Eurovision voting patterns, certain countries tend to form “clusters” or “cliques” by frequently voting in the same way.

Presentation of votes After the interval act is over, when all the points have been calculated, the presenter(s) of the show call upon each voting country in turn to invite them to announce the results of their vote. Prior to 1994 the announcements were made over telephone lines; with the audio being piped into the auditorium for the audience to hear, and over the television transmission. However, since and including 1994 the announcements have been presented visually. Often the opportunity is taken by each country to show their spokesperson standing in front of a backdrop which includes a famous place in that country. For example, the French spokesperson might be seen standing in front of the Eiffel Tower or an Italian presenter might be seen with the Colosseum in the background.

From 1957 to 1962, the participating countries were called in reverse order of the presentation of their songs, and from 1963 to 2003, they were called in the same order in which their songs had been presented (except for 1974). Since 2004, when semi-finals were introduced, the order of the countries’ announcements of votes has changed; and the countries that did not make it to the final each year could also vote. In 2004, the countries were called in alphabetical order (according to their ISO codes). In 2005, the votes from the non-qualifying semi-finalists were announced first, in their running order on the Thursday night; then the finalists gave their votes in their own order of performance. Between 2006 and 2010, like in 1974, a separate draw was held to determine the order in which countries would present their votes. From 2011 to 2015, the voting order was determined by the results of a jury the day before the final so as to create as much suspense as possible when the votes were revealed.

From 1971 to 1973, each country sent two jurors, who were present at the contest venue (though the juries in 1972 were locked away in the Great Hall of Edinburgh Castle) and announced their votes as the camera was trained on them. In 1973 one of the Swiss jurors made a great show of presenting his votes with flamboyant gestures. This system was retired the next year.

In 1956 no public votes were presented: a closed jury simply announced that Switzerland had won. From 1957 to 1987, the points were displayed on a physical scoreboard to the side of the stage. As digital graphic technology progressed, the physical scoreboards were superseded in 1988 by an electronic representation which could be displayed on the TV screen at the will of the programme’s director.

In 2006 the EBU decided to save time during the broadcast—much of which had been taken up with the announcement of every single point—because there was an ever-increasing number of countries voting. Since then, votes from 1 to 7 from each country have been displayed automatically on screen and the remaining points (8, 10 and 12) are read out in ascending order by the spokesperson, culminating with the maximum 12 points. Countries must announce the country names and points in either English or French and the scores are repeated by the contest’s presenters in the other language. For this reason, the expression douze points when the host or spokesperson states the top score in French is popularly associated with the contest throughout the continent. Since 2016, only the name of the top jury votegetter is announced, with the points awarded to the other 9 countries shown in an on-screen scoreboard during the announcement. In addition, only the jury points are announced by country. The televoting results are announced in aggregate, from lowest-scoring country to highest. In the 2019 contest the televoting results were announced in aggregate in inverse standing order based on the jury votes; starting with Spain (7 points from the juries) and culminating in Sweden (239 points from the juries). After the winner has been announced, the televoting points from the country where the contest is watched from are briefly seen on screen.

Ties for first place In 1969, four of the sixteen countries taking part, France, Spain, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, all tied for first place with 18 points each. There was nothing in the rules to decide an outright winner, so all four were declared joint winners. This caused much discontent among most of the other participating countries, and mass walkouts were threatened. Finland, Norway, Sweden and Portugal did not participate in the 1970 Contest as a protest against the results of the previous year. This prompted the EBU to introduce a tie-break rule.

Under the current rules, in the event of more than one country scoring the same total number of points, a count is made of the numbers of countries who awarded points to each of the tied countries, and the one who received points from the most countries is declared the winner. If the numbers are still tied, it is counted how many sets of maximum points (12 points) each country received. If there is still a tie, the numbers of 10-point scores awarded are compared—and then the numbers of 8-point scores, all the way down the list. In the extremely unlikely event of there then still being a tie for first place, the song performed earliest in the running order is declared the winner. Since 2008, the same tie-break rule now applies to ties for all places.

As of 2019, the only time since 1969 when two or more countries have tied for first place on total points alone was in 1991, when France and Sweden both totalled 146 points. At that time, the rules did not include counting the numbers of countries awarding any points to these countries’ songs, but began with tallying up the numbers of 12-point scores awarded. Both France and Sweden had received four sets of 12 points. However, because Sweden had received more sets of 10-point scores, they were declared the winners. Had the current rule been in play, France would have won instead.

The winner of the Eurovision Song Contest is selected by a positional voting system. The most recent system was implemented in the 2016 contest, and sees each participating country award two sets of 12, 10, 8–1 points to their 10 favourite songs: one set from their professional jury and the other from tele-voting.

Overview Small, demographically-balanced juries made up of ordinary people had been used to rank the entries, but after the widespread use of telephone voting in 1998 the contest organizers resorted to juries only in the event of a televoting malfunctions. In 2003, Eircom’s telephone polling system malfunctioned. Irish broadcaster RTÉ did not receive the polling results from Eircom in time, and substituted votes by a panel of judges. Between 1997 and 2003 (the first years of televoting), lines were opened to the public for only five minutes after the performance and recap of the final song. Between 2004 and 2006 the lines were opened for 10 minutes, and from 2007 to 2009 they were opened for 15 minutes. In 2010 viewers were allowed to vote during the performances, but this was rescinded for the 2012 contest. Since the 2006 contest, the presenters use a special phrase to start the televoting process known as “Europe, start voting now!”. This also applies to Australia since 2015. When everything is all done, “Europe, stop voting now!” is used to signal the end of the process.

The BBC contacted regional juries by telephone to choose the 1956 winners, and the European Broadcasting Union (producers of the contest) later began contacting international juries by telephone. This method continued to be used until 1993. The following year saw the first satellite linkup to juries.

To announce the votes, the contest’s presenters connect by satellite to each country in turn and inviting a spokesperson to read the country’s votes in French or English. The presenters originally repeated the votes in both languages, but since 2004 the votes have been translated due to time constraints. To offset increased voting time required by a larger number of participating countries, since 2006 only countries’ eight-, 10-, and 12-point scores are read aloud; one- to seven-point votes are added automatically to the scoreboard while each country’s spokesperson is introduced. The scoreboard displays the number of points each country has received and, since 2008, a progress bar indicating the number of countries which have voted. Since 2016, only the 12-point score is read aloud due to the new voting system, meaning that the nine scoring countries were added automatically to the scoreboard (1-8 and 10 points). In addition, the televoting points are combined together and the presenters announce them in order, starting from the country with the lowest score and ending with the country with the highest score from the televoting. For the 2019 contest the system is the same as before but this time, the presenters will announce the televoting points based on the juries’ rankings.

Voting systems

Year Points Voting system
1956 2 Two-member juries from each country awarded two points to their favourite song.
1957–61 10–1 Ten-member juries distributed 10 points among their favourite songs.
1962 3–1 Ten-member juries awarded points to their three favourite songs.
1963 5–1 Twenty-member juries awarded points to their five favourite songs.
1964–66 5, 3, 1 / 6, 3 / 9 Ten-member juries distributed 9 points in three possible ways. If all their votes went to one single song, it got all the 9 points, if they went to two songs, they got 6 and 3 points, and if they went to three or more, the top three got 5, 3 and 1 points. No jury ever gave 9 points to a single song, but Belgium used the 6-3 system in 1965.
1967–69 10–1 Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.
1970 Ten-member juries distributed 10 points among their favourite songs. A tie-breaking round was available.
1971–73 10–2 Two-member juries (one aged over 25 and the other under 25, with at least 10 years between their ages) rated songs between one and five points.
1974 10–1 Ten-member juries distributed ten points among their favourite songs.
1975–96 12, 10, 8–1 All countries had at least eleven jury members (later rising to sixteen) that would award points to their top ten songs.
1997 Twenty countries had jury members and five countries used televote to decide which songs would get points.
1998–2000 All countries should use telephone voting to decide which songs would receive points. In exceptional circumstances (e.g. weak telephone system) where televoting was not possible at all, a jury was used.
2001–02 Every broadcaster was free to make a choice between the full televoting system and the mixed 50–50 system to decide which songs would receive points. In exceptional circumstances where televoting was not possible, only a jury was used.
2003 All countries should use telephone/SMS voting to decide which songs would receive points. In exceptional circumstances where televoting was not possible at all, only a jury was used.
2004–08 All countries used televoting and/or SMS-voting and to decide which songs would receive points. Back-up juries are used by each country (with eight members) in the event of a televoting failure.
2009–12 All countries used televoting and/or SMS-voting (50%) and five-member juries (50%), apart from San Marino which is 100% jury due to country size. This is so called jury–televote 50/50. In the event of a televoting failure, only a jury is used by that country; in the event of a jury failure, only televoting is used by that country. The two parts of the vote were combined by awarding 12, 10, 8–1 points to the top ten in each discipline, then combining the scores. Where two songs were tied, the televote score took precedence.
2013–15 The same as in 2009–12, except jury and televote are combined differently. The jurors and televoting each rank all the competing entries, rather than just their top ten. The scores are then added together and in the event of a tie, the televote score takes precedence.
2016– (12, 10, 8–1) x 2 The jury and the televote each award an independent set of points. First the jury points are announced and then the televoting points are calculated together before being added to the jury points, effectively doubling the points which can be awarded in total. With a total of 43 voting countries (maximum number of participating countries), the maximum number of points one can mathematically receive is now 1008 (42 countries giving 12 points in each of jury and popular votes)

The most-used voting system (other than the current one) was last used for the 1969 contest. This system was used from 1957 to 1961 and from 1967 to 1969. Ten jurors in each country each cast one vote for their favourite song. In 1969 this resulted in a four-way tie for first place (between the UK, the Netherlands, France, and Spain), with no tie-breaking procedure. A second round of voting in the event of a tie was introduced to this system the following year.

From 1962 to 1966, a voting system similar to the current one was used. In 1962, each country awarded its top three one, two and three points; in 1963 the top five were awarded one, two, three, four and five points, and from 1964 to 1966, each country usually awarded its top three one, three and five points. With the latter system, a country could choose to give points to two countries instead of three (giving three to one and six to the other); in 1965, Belgium awarded the United Kingdom six points and Italy three. Although it was possible to give one country nine points, this never occurred.

The 1971, 1972, and 1973 contests saw the jurors “in vision” for the first time. Each country was represented by two jurors: one older than 25 and one younger, with at least ten years’ difference in their ages. Each juror gave a minimum of one point and a maximum of five points to each song. In 1974 the previous system of ten jurors was used, and the following year the current system was introduced. Spokespeople were next seen on screen in 1994 with a satellite link to the venue.

The 2004 contest had its first semifinal, with a slight change in voting: countries which did not qualify from the semifinal would be allowed to cast votes in the final. This resulted in Ukraine’s Ruslana finishing first, with a record 280 points. If the voting had been conducted as it had been from 1956 to 2003 (when only finalist countries could vote), Serbia and Montenegro’s Željko Joksimović would have won the contest with 190 points: a 15-point lead over Ruslana, who would have scored 175 points. To date, non-qualifying countries are still allowed to vote in the final. In 2006, Serbia and Montenegro were able to vote in the semifinal and the final despite their non-participation due to a scandal in the selection process (which resulted in Macedonia entering the final instead of Poland).

With the introduction of two semifinals in 2008, a new method of selecting finalists was created. The top nine songs (ranked by televote) qualified, along with one song selected by the back-up juries. This method, in most cases, meant that the tenth song in the televoting failed to qualify; this attracted some criticism, especially from Macedonia (who had placed 10th in the televote in both years). In 2010 the 2009 final system was used, with a combination of televoting and jury votes from each country also used to select the semi-finalists. Each participating country had a national jury, consisting of five music-industry professionals appointed by national broadcasters.

Highest scores “A Million Voices” sung by Russian artist Polina Gagarina, became the first song to get over 300 points without winning the contest (and the only one during the era when each country delivered only one set of points); with a new voting system introduced in 2016, Australia became the first country to get over 500 points without winning the contest. In 2017, Bulgaria’s “Beautiful Mess” became the first non-winning entry to score above 600 points, as well as Portugal becoming the first country to get over 750 points – winning the contest as a result of this with the song “Amar pelos dois” by Salvador Sobral. As the number of voting countries and the voting systems have varied, it may be more relevant to compare what percentage of all points awarded in the competition that each song received (computed from the published scoreboards. The table below show winning songs by the percentage of all votes.

Top 5 Winners by percentage of all votes This table shows top 5 winning songs by the percentage from the all votes cast.

Contest Country Artist Song Points Percentage of all points cast Percentage of maximum possible points
1964  Italy Gigliola Cinquetti “Non ho l’età” 49 34.03% 65.33%
1957  Netherlands Corry Brokken “Net als toen” 31 31.00% 34.44%
1967  United Kingdom Sandie Shaw “Puppet on a String” 47 27.65% 29.38%
1962  France Isabelle Aubret “Un premier amour” 26 27.08% 57.78%
1958  France André Claveau “Dors, mon amour” 27 27.00% 30.00%

Top 5 Winners by percentage of the maximum possible score This table shows top 5 winning songs by the percentage from the maximum possible score a song can achieve.

Contest Country Artist Song Points Percentage of all points cast Percentage of maximum possible points
1973  Luxembourg Anne-Marie David “Tu te reconnaîtras” 129 14.05% 80.63%
1976  United Kingdom Brotherhood of Man “Save Your Kisses for Me” 164 15.71% 80.39%
1982  Germany Nicole “Ein Bißchen Frieden” 161 15.42% 78.92%
1997  United Kingdom Katrina and the Waves “Love Shine a Light” 227 15.66% 78.82%
2009  Norway Alexander Rybak “Fairytale” 387 15.89% 78.66%

Top 10 participants by number of votes This table shows top 10 participating songs (both winning and non-winning) by the number of votes cast.

Contest Country Artist Song Points Percentage of all points cast Percentage of maximum possible points
2017  Portugal Salvador Sobral “Amar pelos dois” 758 15.94% 77.03%
 Bulgaria Kristian Kostov “Beautiful Mess” 615 12.93% 62.50%
2016  Ukraine Jamala “1944” 534 11.22% 54.27%
2018  Israel Netta Barzilai “Toy” 529 10.86% 52.48%
2016  Australia Dami Im “Sound of Silence” 511 10.74% 51.93%
2019  The Netherlands Duncan Laurence “Arcade” 498 10.60% 51.25%
2016  Russia Sergey Lazarev “You Are the Only One” 491 10.32% 49.89%
2019  Italy Mahmood “Soldi” 465 10.02% 48.44%
2018  Cyprus Eleni Foureira “Fuego” 436 8.95% 43.25%
2009  Norway Alexander Rybak “Fairytale” 387 15.89% 78.66%

Under the 2013–15 voting system Portugal would have received 17.12% of points in the 2017 competition.

Tie-breakers A tie-break procedure was implemented after the 1969 contest, in which France, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom tied for first place. With no tie-breaking system in place at the time, it was determined that all four countries would be awarded the title; in protest, Austria, Finland, Sweden, Norway and Portugal did not participate the following year.

The current tie-break procedure was implemented in the 2016 contest. In the procedure, sometimes known as a countback, if two (or more) countries tie, the song receiving more points from the televote is the winner. If the songs received the same number of televote points, the song that received at least one televote point from the greatest number of countries is the winner. If there is still a tie, a second tie-breaker counts the number of countries who assigned twelve televote points to each entry in the tie. Tie-breaks continue with ten points, eight points, and so on until the tie is resolved. If the tie cannot be resolved after the number of countries which assigned one point to the song is equal, the song performed earlier in the running order is declared the winner, unless the host country performed earlier (in which case the song performed later would be the winner). The tie-break procedure originally applied only to first place ties, but since 2008 has been applied to all places.

In 1991, the tie-break procedure was implemented when Sweden and France both had 146 points at the end of the voting. At the time, there was no televoting system, and the tie-break rule was slightly different; the first tie-break rule at the time concerned the number of 12 points each country had received. Both Sweden and France had received the maximum twelve points four times; when the number of ten-point scores was counted Sweden, represented by Carola and “Fångad av en stormvind”, claimed its third victory since it received five ten-point scores against France’s two. The French song “Le Dernier qui a parlé…”, performed by Amina, finished second with the smallest-ever losing margin.

Colour-coded mapCountries with no points, and the number of times for each

Scoring no points As each participating country casts a series of preference votes, under the current scoring system it is rare that a song fails to receive any votes at all; such a result means that the song failed to make the top ten most popular songs in any country.

The first zero points in Eurovision were scored in 1962, under a new voting system. When a country finishes with a score of zero, it is often referred to in English-language media as nul pointsor nil points, albeit incorrectly. Grammatical French for “no points” is pas de points or zéro point, but none of these phrases are used in the contest; before 2016’s voting overhaul, no-point scores were not announced by the presenters. Following the change in the voting system, a country receiving no points from the public voting is announced as receiving “zero points”. 

Before 1975 Entries which received no points before the introduction of the scoring system introduced in 1975 are:

Contest Country Artist Song
1962  Belgium Fud Leclerc “Ton nom”
 Spain Victor Balaguer “Llámame”
 Austria Eleonore Schwarz “Nur in der Wiener Luft”
 Netherlands De Spelbrekers “Katinka”
1963 Annie Palmen “Een speeldoos”
 Norway Anita Thallaug “Solhverv”
 Finland Laila Halme “Muistojeni laulu”
 Sweden Monica Zetterlund “En gång i Stockholm”
1964  Germany Nora Nova “Man gewöhnt sich so schnell an das Schöne”
 Portugal António Calvário “Oração”
 Yugoslavia Sabahudin Kurt “Život je sklopio krug”
  Switzerland Anita Traversi “I miei pensieri”
1965  Spain Conchita Bautista “¡Qué bueno, qué bueno!”
 Germany Ulla Wiesner “Paradies, wo bist du?”
 Belgium Lize Marke “Als het weer lente is”
 Finland Viktor Klimenko “Aurinko laskee länteen”
1966  Monaco Tereza Kesovija “Bien plus fort”
 Italy Domenico Modugno “Dio, come ti amo”
1967   Switzerland Géraldine “Quel cœur vas-tu briser?”
1970  Luxembourg David Alexandre Winter “Je suis tombé du ciel”

1975 to 2015 

Finals Entries which received no points since the introduction of this system in 1975 up until the scoring reformation in 2016 are:

Contest Country Artist Song
1978  Norway Jahn Teigen “Mil etter mil”
1981 Finn Kalvik “Aldri i livet”
1982  Finland Kojo “Nuku pommiin”
1983  Spain Remedios Amaya “¿Quién maneja mi barca?”
 Turkey Çetin Alp and The Short Waves “Opera”
1987 Seyyal Taner and Grup Locomotif “Şarkım Sevgi Üstüne”
1988  Austria Wilfried “Lisa Mona Lisa”
1989  Iceland Daníel Ágúst “Það sem enginn sér”
1991  Austria Thomas Forstner “Venedig im Regen”
1994  Lithuania Ovidijus Vyšniauskas “Lopšinė mylimai”
1997  Norway Tor Endresen “San Francisco”
 Portugal Célia Lawson “Antes do adeus”
1998   Switzerland Gunvor “Lass ihn”
2003  United Kingdom Jemini “Cry Baby”[22]
2015  Austria (host) The Makemakes “I Am Yours”
 Germany Ann Sophie “Black Smoke”

The first time a host nation ever finished with nul points was in the 2015 final, when Austria’s “I Am Yours” by The Makemakes scored zero. In 2003, following the UK’s first zero score, an online poll was held to determine public opinion about each zero-point entry’s worthiness of the score. Spain’s “¿Quién maneja mi barca?” (1983) won the poll as the song that least deserved a zero, and Austria’s “Lisa Mona Lisa” (1988) was the song most deserving of a zero.

In 2012, although it scored in the combined voting, France’s “Echo (You and I)” by Anggun would have received no points if televoting alone had been used. In that year’s first semi-final, although Belgium’s “Would You?” by Iris received two points in the televoting-only hypothetical results from the Albanian jury (since Albania did not use televoting); Belgium would have received no official points from televoting alone. In his book, Nul Points, comic writer Tim Moore interviews several of these performers about how their Eurovision score affected their careers.

Since the creation of a qualifying round (semifinal) in 2004 and an expansion to two semifinals in 2008, more than thirty countries vote each night – even countries which have been eliminated or have already qualified. No points are rarer; it would require a song to place less than tenth in every country in jury voting and televote.

Semifinals Entries which received no points during the semifinals are:

Contest Country Artist Song
2004   Switzerland Piero Esteriore & The MusicStars “Celebrate”
2009  Czech Republic Gypsy.cz “Aven Romale”

2016 onwards: One section of voting With the new televoting system being introduced in the 2016 contest, scoring no points in either the jury voting or televoting phase is possible. An overall “nul points” is possible, but much less likely, and has not yet happened.

In 2016, the Czech Republic’s entry “I Stand” received no points from the televote. They did get 41 points from juries. In 2017, Spain’s entry “Do It for Your Lover” received no points from the juries. They did get five points from the televote. Also in 2017, Austria’s entry “Running on Air” received no points from the televote but they did get 93 points from juries. In 2019, Germany’s entry “Sisters” obtained no points from the televote with 24 from the juries.

Had the old system remained in use, the United Kingdom’s 2019 entry “Bigger Than Us” would have received “nul points” in the final.

In finals 

Entries that received no jury points are:

Contest Country Artist Song
2017  Spain Manel Navarro “Do It for Your Lover”
2019  Israel (host) Kobi Marimi “Home”

Entries that received no televote points are:

Contest Country Artist Song
2016  Czech Republic Gabriela Gunčíková “I Stand”
2017  Austria Nathan Trent “Running on Air”
2019  Germany S!sters “Sister”

In semifinals 

Entries that received no jury points in the semifinals are:

Contest Country Artist Song
2017  San Marino Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson “Spirit of the Night”

Entries that received no televote points in the semifinals are:

Contest Country Artist Song
2017  Malta Claudia Faniello “Breathlessly”
2018  Iceland Ari Ólafsson “Our Choice”
2019  Austria Paenda “Limits”

Junior Eurovision No entry in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest has ever received nul points; between 2005 and 2015, each contestant began with 12 points to prevent such a result. However, there has not been a situation that the 12 points received in the beginning would have remained as the sole points. The closest to that was Croatia in 2014 which ended up with 13 points, meaning that they received one point from a country’s vote. On 15 October 2012, it was announced by the EBU, that for the first time in the contest’s history a new “Kids Jury” was being introduced into the voting system. The jury consists of members aged between 10 and 15, and representing each of the participating countries. A spokesperson from the jury would then announce the points 1-8, 10 and the maximum 12 as decided upon by the jury members. In 2016 the Kids Jury was removed and instead, each country awarded 1-8, 10 and 12 points from both adult and kid’s juries, also eliminating televoting from the contest. An expert panel were also present at the 2016 contest, with each of the panelists being able to award 1-8, 10 and 12 points themselves.

In 2018, Portugal and Wales earnt 0 points in the jury voting.

Regional bloc voting Although statistical analysis of the results from 2001 to 2005 suggests regional bloc voting; it is debatable how much in each case is due to ethnic diaspora voting, a sense of ethnic kinship, political alliances or a tendency for culturally-close countries to have similar musical tastes. Several countries can be categorised as voting blocs, which regularly award one another high points:

  • Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria
  • Turkey and Azerbaijan
  • English-speaking countries or countries of the Commonwealth: Australia, Malta, Ireland and United Kingdom
  • Austria, Germany and Switzerland
  • The Netherlands and Belgium
  • Andorra, Portugal and Spain
  • Albania and Italy
  • The Nordic states: Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, and Iceland
  • The Baltic states: Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania
  • Romania and Moldova, acting as a bridge between the Balkan and Warsaw Pact states
  • The Balkan countries:
    North Macedonia and Albania
    The former Yugoslav countries: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Croatia
  • The former USSR countries of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and Moldova
  • Hungary and Serbia

It is still common for countries to award points to their neighbours regularly, even if they are not part of a voting bloc (for example, Finland and Estonia, Germany and Denmark, the Baltic states and Russia or Albania and Greece). Votes may also be based on a diaspora. Greece, Turkey, Poland, Russia and the former Yugoslav countries normally get high scores from Germany or the United Kingdom, Armenia gets votes from France and Belgium, Poland from Ireland, Romania from Spain and Italy and Albania from Switzerland, Italy and San Marino. Former Eurovision TV director Bjørn Erichsen disagreed with the assertion that regional bloc voting significantly affects the contest’s outcome, saying that Russia’s first victory in 2008 was only possible with votes from thirty-eight of the participating countries.

In a recent study, a new methodology is presented which allows a complete analysis of the competition from 1957 until 2017. The voting patterns change and the previous studies restrained their analysis to a particular time window where the voting scheme is homogeneous and this approach allows the sampling comparison over arbitrary periods consistent with the unbiased assumption of voting patterns. This methodology also allows for a sliding time window to accumulate a degree of collusion over the years producing a weighted network. The previous results are supported and the changes over time provide insight into the collusive behaviours given more or less choice.

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