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Is there a Eurovision migrant effect?

Eurovision 2017

This year’s Eurovision voting system allowed viewers to compare the televotes for a given song with the votes of the national juries. In the case of the Polish song, there was a big difference. Could this be connected to the number of Poles living in other European countries?

Poland’s song, the Colour of Your Life performed by Michal Szpak, received just seven votes from the national juries – which are made up of people in the music business – but a whacking 222 votes from telephone voters.

The song was second to last in the votes from the juries, but took third position in the telephone vote, finishing eighth overall.

BBC Eurovision commentator Graham Norton spotted what was happening.

“Now this is extraordinary,” he said. “Poland just got seven from the jury vote and look at them now – they are going to get a massive percentage of the phone vote. Euro-nerds are going to have a field day analysing those votes.”

So how did Poland do it?

Maybe the music industry is out of touch with popular tastes? It’s notable that the British and Czech entries were both liked a lot more by the juries than by the televoters.

But could there also be a migrant effect?

Eurovision rules mean that people cannot vote for their own country’s song. So, for example, British people cannot vote for the British Eurovision entry, and Poles cannot vote for the Polish entry‚Ķ unless they live in another country.

There are large numbers of Poles living in other European countries.

According to the UK’s Office for National Statistics, some 400,000 people born in Poland are working in the UK, and there are many more than that in Germany.


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