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Analysis: How accurate were the Press Poll and Audience Poll for Eurovision 2023?

Time for another data deep dive!

In addition to our annual press poll, this year we worked with ESC InsightThe Euro Trip Podcast and BetEurovision to conduct The Eurovision Audience Poll. Members of the four participating platforms have been approaching audience members leaving the M&S Bank Arena after each evening preview show to ask them who their favourite of the night was.

From the inception of the Press Poll over a decade ago, it was never intended to be predictive, only something for fun. That said, it’s interesting to see just how accurate some of the polling ended up being (or not, in some cases, as our readers love to remind us about).

In this article, we will examined how accurate (or inaccurate) these polls ended up being, now that we know the results of the contest in full.

Semi-final one

The first semi-final was very much a mixed bag. It correctly ‘predicted’ seven out of the ten qualifiers, and rather impressively, the top seven from both polls combined all ended up qualifying. The ranking for these were only within two places of the actual result.

However, there were two entries that were either overrated or underrated by the polls – Malta’s ranking was 7 places higher than its eventual result of 15th. Meanwhile, Moldova’s Pasha Parfeni ended up placing nine spots higher in the semi-final than he placed in the polls.

Semi-final two

Impressively, all 10 of the top 10 of the Press Poll and Audience Poll combined ended up qualifying, and the eventual winner of the semi-final (Promise by Voyager) also won the polls overall.

We also saw a much smaller variation between the combined average ranking and the actual placement. The biggest ‘loser’ was Belgium’s Gustaph, who ended up placing five spots lower than he did in the combined polls. Meanwhile, Lithuania’s Monika Linkytė placed five spots higher than she did in the combined polls.

Since this was the semi-final that the UK could vote in, we figured it would be worth exploring how much the Audience Poll reflected the UK televoting results, since the poll was conducted in the UK.

Overall, eight of the top 10 of the Audience Poll ended up receiving points from the UK televote, with fairly small disparities between their Audience Poll ranking and their televote ranking. The exception to this is Lithuania’s Monika Linkytė, who placed 11th in the Audience Poll but won the UK televote, and Albania’s Albina & Familja Kelmendi, who placed 15th in the Audience Poll but placed 6th in the UK televote.

My theory is that the semi-final two audience didn’t reflect the demographics of the UK fully, which contains significant Lithuanian and Albanian diaspora communities. The UK has the highest Lithuanian and Albanian populations in Northern Europe, according to estimates.

Grand Final

For the Grand Final, the discrepancies between the polling and the eventual results were much greater, especially in the middle of the scoreboard. However, seven out of the combined ranked top 10 from the Press Poll ended up placing in the actual top 10 in the Grand Final.

Germany, the UK and Spain were the most ‘overrated’ by the polls, where their combined average rankings were 14, 12 and 11 places higher than their eventual results, respectively. This was somewhat of a pattern with the Big Five, as France’s La Zarra placed nine spots higher in the combined ranking than she did in the eventual scoreboard.

Meanwhile, Estonia’s Alika and Czechia’s Vesnia were the acts most ‘underrated’ by the polls, placing 11 and 10 places higher in the actual scoreboard, respectively.

The only act whose placement was accurately ‘predicted’ via the polls was Portugal’s Mimicat.

Again, since the Audience Poll was conducted in the UK, it’s worth seeing the extent to which it reflected the UK televote.

Overall, six of the top 10 of the Audience Poll ended up receiving points from the UK televote, with varying disparities between their Audience Poll ranking and their televote ranking. While Finland and Norway ended up ranking the same (1st and 4th, respectively), Sweden only received 5 points from UK televoters, despite placing 2nd in the audience poll.

The disparities grew wider once you move down the scoreboard. Like in the semi-final two ranking, it’s clearer that the Audience Poll did not capture the extent of support for Lithuania’s Monika Linkytė, who received 10 points from UK televoters but only placed 15th in the Audience Poll. Similarly, Poland’s Blanka and Moldova’s Pasha Parfeni were underrated by the Audience Poll, ranking 12 and nine places higher in the eventual UK televote, respectively.

Again, although these songs may well have had wide appeal among UK voters, it’s worth remembering that Polish and Romanian-speaking diaspora communities constitute significant minorities.

About the 2023 Press Poll and Audience Poll

We ran the same poll for semi-final one on Monday 8 May and semi-final two on Wednesday 10 May.

You can view the previous results below:

In addition, accredited members of the press were able to follow proceedings, either at the press centre in Liverpool or via the online press centre. After the acts took to the stage for the final dress rehearsal, we invited members of the media to vote for their THREE favourite rehearsals of the show.

You can find the results of the three press polls below:

Be sure to stay updated by following @ESCXTRA on Twitter@escxtra on Instagram@escxtra on TikTok and liking our Facebook page for the latest updates! Also, be sure to follow us on Spotify for the latest music from your favourite Eurovision acts, as well as YouTube to see interviews from the Eurovision Song Contest 2023!

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