Editorials & Opinion

Analysing 12 years of OGAE voting: Why are the polls so similar to betting odds?

Take a journey down memory lane with us as we look back at the OGAE polls from Helsinki 2007 all the way through to Lisbon 2018!

This is an updated version of an article published in April 2018

Every year, many Eurovision fans eagerly await the results of the annual OGAE poll. OGAE is made up of over 40 fan clubs from around the world. For the poll, they cast votes in Eurovision’s classic 12 to 1 points system. With the OGAE voting historically taking place across April, it is one of the first opportunities for fans to discover how a significant number of real people are reacting to this year’s entries.

OGAE voting hand-in-hand with betting odds?

Therefore, this can also have a knock-on effect in shaping the rankings at various betting agencies. Last month, we re-analysed how accurate betting odds from a month before the last eleven contests were in predicting the eventual finishing positions. There will be various references to this throughout the article below so it may be worth giving that a read first!

As in the betting odds analysis article, we have taken statistics from all 12 OGAE polls that have taken place thus far. The poll was introduced in 2007 and has taken place every year since. Let’s have a look exactly how good an indicator the OGAE poll is for predicting the eventual results!

🇫🇮 Helsinki 2007

Between 2007 and 2010, the only figures we have been able to find is the top 5 placings via Wikipedia which we presume to be reliable as they cite OGAE International as their source. Therefore, you can see this below.

RankPointsCountryEntryEurovision Placing
1184🇷🇸 SerbiaMarija Šerifović – Molitva1st
2159🇧🇾 BelarusKoldun – Work Your Magic6th
3155🇨🇭 SwitzerlandDJ Bobo – Vampires Are AliveSF (20th)
4142🇨🇾 CyprusEvridiki – Comme ci, Comme çaSF (15th)
5107🇬🇷 GreeceSarbel – Yassou Maria7th

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed 1st in the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 60% of the top 5 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 5 of the OGAE poll.

2007 was a strong start for the OGAE poll! OGAE members agreed with Eurovision televoters that Marija Šerifović from Serbia strongest entry in the contest. Notably, the eventual runner-up, Verka Serduchka from Ukraine, did not appear in the top 5 of the OGAE poll. This is just the first example of a couple where novelty acts are often underscored by OGAE members in comparison to Eurovision voters.

It is also worth noting that BelarusSerbia and Switzerland were all in the top 5 of the betting odds prior to the contest. Similarly to the underscoring of novelty acts, this is just the first example of several where OGAE rankings and betting odds rankings are strikingly similar.

🇷🇸 Belgrade 2008

Next, here are the top five finishers from the 2008 OGAE poll.

RankPointsCountryEntryEurovision Placing
1308🇸🇪 SwedenCharlotte Perrelli – Hero18th
2216🇨🇭 SwitzerlandPaolo Meneguzzi – Era StupendoSF (13th)
3178🇷🇸 SerbiaJelena Tomašević feat. Bora Dugić – Oro6th
4145🇮🇸 IcelandEuroband – This Is My Life14th
5145🇳🇴 NorwayMaria – Hold On Be Strong5th

Analysis

  • The winning entry was placed outside the top 5 in the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the eventual top 5 at Eurovision placed inside the top 5 of the OGAE poll.
  • 20% of the top 5 countries in the betting odds a month prior the contest finished in the top 5 of the OGAE poll.

In complete contrast to the previous year, the OGAE results and betting odds showed little resemblance in 2008. While Serbia was the only country to appear in the top 5 of the OGAE poll and the betting odds, only Norway appeared in the top 5 of the OGAE poll and the Eurovision final results.

Russia‘s Dima Bilan was nowhere to be seen amongst the top of the OGAE poll. More surprisingly in hindsight was the absence of Ukraine‘s Ani Lorak, Greece‘s Kalomira and Armenia‘s Sirusho. These three female ethnic dance-pop entries are often looked back on fondly by Eurovision fans of today.

Our journey down memory lane continues on the next page…

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