It's a numbers game

Here's a brilliant – though very heavily academic and statistical – piece of research on voting patterns in Eurovision. If you're not up to the numbers (they made my brain hurt) then skip to the discussion section (point 4.1 onwards) for the conclusions.

Basically, it establishes that there are a number of voting blocs that can be mathematically proven to support each other, and asks whether it matters, or whether the battle between the New Warsaw Pact, the Balkan Bloc and the Viking Alliance is a pointer to what the future holds for Pan-European politics.

What it leaves unsaid is that countries outside a voting bloc – like Britain, France and Germany who pay for the contest – have no chance of winning for the foreseeable future.

Here's a pretty picture of the voting blocs:

Eurovision voting blocs