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What history says about winning the Press Poll

On Sunday Australia made quite the splash with the technical and impactful staging of Kate Miller-Heidke’s ‘Zero Gravity’.

It was so warmly received it won the ‘Press Poll’ of that day (made up of press watching the rehearsals, mainly Eurovision Fan Press) and had the highest score of those competing in semi final one.

So that’s a good thing right? And should lead on to a good ranking right….. right….???

Well the ‘Press Poll’ has a mixed success rate and we decided to look over the last four years to see whether it leads to success or not….

The nations who have had the highest score in each semi final since 2015 were:

2018 Cyprus: Eleni Foureira – Fuego (2nd place)

Moldova: Doredos – My Lucky Day (10th)


Armenia: Artsvik – Fly With Me (18th)

Bulgaria – Kristian Kostov – Beautiful Mess (2nd)


Ukraine: Jamala – 1944 (1st)

Armenia: Iveta Mukuchyan – LoveWave (7th)


Norway: Debrah Scarlett and Morland – A Monster Like Me (8th)

Russia: Polina Gagarina – A Million Voices (2nd)

So let’s look at the good news:

  • Every country qualified

  • 7 out of the 8 countries made the top 10

  • The average finishing position was 6th

  • Half of the 8 either won the contest or were runner-up

So again looking great for Kate yeah?

Well we can’t forget Artsvik only finished 18th in 2017. That’s not a great result.

And if we look at nations who were voted 2nd in the Press Poll it raises some concerns…

Finland in 2017 and Ireland in 2015 did not qualify after finishing 2nd in their respective semi final Press Polls. Hungary 2018 (21st) and Austria 2017 (16th and last with televote) ) both had worrying results in recent years.

And if we look at last year Croatia finished 3rd and Malta 4th in the Press Poll of their semi final and didn’t’ qualify for the grand final.

So yes overall winners of the Press Poll tend to do well, but the nations right up there with them have done poorly at times.

The Press Poll also seems to miss the winner by a long way. Israel was 6th with the press in their semi final last year, Portugal was 5th the year before and Sweden 4th in 2015. Jamala was the exception finishing 1st in 2016.

Talking of which Australia only finished 3rd in the Press Poll in 2016 and went on to win the jury vote and finish runner-up in the grand final.

In defense of the Press Poll it does have a pretty strong record in predicting qualifiers with 82.5% of those in the Top 10 making the Grand Final.

So overall Kate Miller-Heidke winning the Press Poll of semi final one was a great thing and she’s certainly in the running for a good position at Eurovision. However, much like the odds and fan polls, don’t read too much into it.

Kate has flown under the radar and now above the stage and we should just enjoy the performance for all it is. Where the cards land, is where they land… and we'll be supporting and congratulating Kate and her team wherever they end up.

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