Voting at Melodifestivalen

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There have been many voting systems used at Melodifestivalen over the course of its history. The Swedish broadcasters have experimented with various techniques over the years including splitting the juries by age, regional voting and an "expert" jury. Televoting was controversially first introduced in 1993, as an unannounced experiment. The Swedish telephone network promptly collapsed under the strain of phone calls being made.[1]

Televoting was permanently reintroduced in 1999, but the regional jury system was retained, and given a 50% weighting in the overall results. In 2011 the regional juries were abolished and their task was given to juries from other countries that participate in the year's Eurovision Song Contest. 2015 saw the introduction of a mobile app that allowed the public to vote for their favourite entries for free, but only when the songs were being performed. Although used in all semi-finals and the Second Chance round, the app votes were not used in the final due to the system becoming overloaded and ceasing to function about half an hour into the show.[2][3] The current voting system has been controversial, as it is possible for the song which receives the most votes from the public not to win, as happened in 2005, 2008 and 2013.

The current televoting/appvoting record is 12 634 477 votes in the final Melodifestivalen 2016.[4]

Summary of voting systems used[edit]

Year(s) Voting system
1959–1961 Four expert juries in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Luleå.
1962 Postcard voting.
1963 As 1959–1961.
1965–1969 Regional juries in each of Sveriges Radio's regions. One point per jury member.
1971 Postcard voting in the three semifinals. Regional juries in each of Sveriges Radio's regions decided the final.
1972–1973 As 1965–1969.
1974–1975 Eleven regional juries, each with fifteen people. Each jury member awarded 3, 2 and 1 point(s) to their three favourite songs. This led to ABBA winning with 302 points, the largest total ever (impossible under the current system.) In 1975 the number of jury members was reduced from fifteen to ten, and they were allowed to award five points in any manner they wished.
1977–1980 Regional juries. The positional voting system used in the Eurovision Song Contest at the time was used. Each jury awarded one to eight points, ten and finally twelve.
1981–1988 Regional juries. Juries each awarded 1, 2, 4, 6 and eight points to the five songs. In 1982 the number of contestants was increased to ten once again and a first round vote was used to reduce that number to five for the "super final". From 1984 to 1987 the juries were sorted by age, not region, but the voting system remained the same. Regional juries returned in 1988.
1989–1990 As 1977–1980.
1991–1992 As 1981–1988 with regional juries.
1993 A regional televote in which the regions' points were given in the same manner as the previous two competitions: 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8.
1994–1996 As 1981–1988 with regional juries.
1997 Regional juries. Juries awarded 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 points to their top seven songs.
1998 As 1981–1988 with regional juries.
1999–2008 Juries voted as 1997. Televoting points are given by multiplying the juries' points allocations (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12) by the total number of juries - so with eleven juries, 11, 22, 44, 66, 88, 110 and 132 - to give a 50:50 jury-public points split
2009 As 1999–2008 but with the addition of a twelfth 'international' jury, and with televoting points factored up accordingly.
2010 As 1999–2008 with eleven juries, but only five from Swedish regions; the other six from other individual European countries.
2011–present Eleven international juries give points as above; televoting now gives respective shares of 473 points (the total of all the juries) based on percentage of total vote, e.g. a song that gets 10% of the televoting would receive 48 points (47.3).

Records[edit]

In the event of a tie, the song that received more votes from the public receives the higher position.[5] The closest victories are Tommy Körberg's in 1969 and Björn Skifs' in 1978. In 1969, Körberg tied for first place with Jan Malmsjö before winning after the jury voted for their favourite out of the two. In 1978, Björn Skifs tied for first place with Lasse Holm, Kikki Danielsson and Wizex; but won after each jury was called to vote for their favourite out of the tied songs. Unlike in 1969, each jury group (rather than individual jury members) counted for one point in the tie-break.

Since the current voting system was introduced, results have been more clear-cut. The televoters and juries agreed on the winner in seven out of nine finals between 1999 and 2007. The closest victory since 1999 is Sanna Nielsen's two-point win in 2014. The biggest victory by straight-points in the history of the event is ABBA's win in 1974 with 302 points. Under the current voting system the record is 288 points, achieved by Måns Zelmerlöw in 2015 with the song "Heroes". The entry also broke the record for the biggest difference between the winning and second placed song, with 149 points between it and Jon Henrik Fjällgren's "Jag är fri (Manne leam frijje)". "Heroes" also garnered the largest amount of both jury and viewer points received by an entry since 1999, gathering 122 points and 166 points, respectively. Two songs have scored top marks from each voting region: Carola Häggkvist in 1983 with "Främling", and Arvingarna in 1993 with "Eloise". However, in 1993, experimental televoting was used and the two are not entirely comparable. The biggest victory in terms of points as a percentage of the total possible score is also held by Carola and "Främling", which defeated Kikki Danielsson's "Varför är kärleken röd?" by 43 points, 48% of the total potential mark.

Jury regions[edit]

SVT has eleven news districts, each of which was represented by a jury in the final of Melodifestivalen from 1974-2009.

Until 2010 each jury represented one of SVT news districts. In 2010 six juries were replaced by international juries from different European countries, with the remaining juries coming from Luleå, Umeå, Gothenburg, Malmö and Stockholm. In 2011 the Swedish were all replaced by international juries. In 2013 and 2014, all Big 5 countries cast their votes.

International juries[edit]

Year Juries
2009:  Europe
2010:  France,  Greece,  Ireland,  Norway,  Russia,  Serbia
2011:  Croatia,  France,  Germany,  Greece,  Ireland,  Malta,  Norway,  Russia,  San Marino,  Ukraine,  United Kingdom
2012:  Belgium,  Bosnia and Herzegovina,  Cyprus,  Estonia,  France,  Germany,  Ireland,  Malta,  Norway,  Ukraine,  United Kingdom
2013:  Croatia,  Cyprus,  France,  Germany,  Italy,  Iceland,  Israel,  Malta,  Spain,  Ukraine,  United Kingdom
2014:  Denmark,  Estonia,  France,  Germany,  Israel,  Italy,  Malta,  Netherlands,  Russia,  Spain,  United Kingdom
2015:  Armenia,  Austria,  Belgium,  Cyprus,  Estonia,  France,  Israel,  Malta,  Netherlands,  Slovenia,  United Kingdom
2016:  Australia,  Belarus,  Bosnia & Herzegovina,  Cyprus,  Estonia,  France,  Israel,  Italy,  Netherlands,  Norway,  Slovenia
2017:  Armenia,  Australia,  Czech Republic,  France,  Israel,  Italy,  Malta,  Norway,  Poland,  Ukraine,  United Kingdom

Swedish juries[edit]

Running order from 1965
Running order District
01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
08.
09.
10.
11.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ESCtoday.com Melodifestivalen 1990-2000. Retrieved on 6 April 2007.
  2. ^ "Allt om vår nya app". svt.se. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  3. ^ "Utredning visar - därför strulade appen". svt.se. Retrieved 24 April 2015. 
  4. ^ "Se alla röstningssiffror: Så tog Frans över i Melodifestivalen 2016". svt.se. Retrieved 2016-03-16. 
  5. ^ Nordman undvek sistaplatsen (Swedish). SR.se (13 March 2005). Retrieved on 28 April 2007.