The Scoop

New Ladbrokes survey: 54% of the British public wants the UK to quit Eurovision

Yes, it’s that time again! British media have started spouting out crisis headlines about why the UK should quit Eurovision. Yesterday, London-based business newspaper City A.M. published the findings from a recently carried out survey by British betting agency Ladbrokes. After surveying 1,000 adults, 54% of those said that the United Kingdom should leave the Eurovision Song Contest.

Europe just “doesn’t like” the UK

Further statistics from the survey claim that “half” of those survey believe that the UK will receive fewer points in Kyiv “because of the EU referendum result”. In addition, 51% believe that Lucie Jones will not make it out of the bottom five with her Emmelie de Forest-penned entry Never Give Up On You. Furthermore, an astonishing 76% of those surveyed are apparently “embarrassed” by the British act this year. Finally, 28% are under the impression that Europe just “doesn’t like” the UK.

It’s all about the commentary

When Eurovision comes into conversation amongst non-fans in the UK, so-called political voting is more than likely to rear its ugly head. Arguably, the ideology of political voting became mainstream in the UK in the early 2000s when British commentator Sir Terry Wogan regularly pointed out certain countries giving points to other countries in the same geographical area.

Wogan referred to this as “political” or “bloc” voting, rather than “cultural” or “disapora” voting which many Eurovision fans, journalists and researchers believe are the actual reasons for such voting patterns. Indeed, in the case of cultural voting, it is something that shouldn’t be frowned upon either. Nevertheless, Sir Terry wasn’t alone in this as many other Western European countries bought into similar beliefs at the time.

Since 2009, Graham Norton has been in charge of commentating. He has followed similar themes with his commentary although arguably to a lesser extent, perhaps as such voting patterns have become less prevalent following the introduction of jury voting in his first year of commentary.

A top 3 finish… a failure?

Nevertheless, if anything, Eurovision’s reputation is improving in the UK. In a poll carried out by The Guardian in 2012, 56% of respondents believed the UK should withdraw from the contest. Therefore, the 54% stated by Ladbrokes this year is a very very tiny improvement at least.

The same The Guardian article refers to “failures” by the likes of Jessica Garlick, Jade Ewen and Blue in previous years. Here lies another fault in British mentality where anything other than Eurovision victory is failure. In contrast, many other participating countries would be overjoyed with a top 12 finish in a field of over 40 countries but for the British public, it is far from enough.

At the end of the day, Eurovision remains one of the most watched programmes in the UK. It is also one of the cheapest highly-viewed programmes the BBC will broadcast throughout the year. As things stand the BBC are extremely unlikely to want to withdraw from the contest. Hopefully the UK will be able to secure that elusive seventh win in the future. That would hopefully put these annual headlines to bed once and for all!

Does Eurovision attract similarly negative attention in your country’s media? Furthermore, do you think the fellow members of your nation’s public would want your country to withdraw from the contest? Let us know about the situations in your country in the comments below and via our social media pages @escXtra!

Ryan Cobb

My first memory of watching the Eurovision Song Contest was back in 2001 and, over the years, my passion and enthusiasm for the contest has very much turned into an obsession. I adore music and I love geography, so this contest is a natural fit for me. If la la loving Eurovision was a crime, I'd certainly be a criminal!

Comments on New Ladbrokes survey: 54% of the British public wants the UK to quit Eurovision

  • beccaboo1212

    If the United Kingdom quits EUrovision, I’ll be REALLY angry! 🙁

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