Voting at Melodifestivalen

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Melodifestivalen is an event organised by Swedish public broadcasters Sveriges Television (SVT) and Sveriges Radio (SR) to determine the country's representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. The voting procedures to select the entrant for the annual contest have varied over the years since the country's debut in 1958. The Swedish broadcasters have experimented with techniques including splitting the juries by age, regional voting, and using 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]

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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, 2013 and 2017.

The current televoting/appvoting record is 16,752,439 votes in the Melodifestivalen 2021 final. [4]

Summary of voting systems used

Year(s)Voting system
1959–1961Four expert juries in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Luleå.
1962Postcard voting.
1963As 1959–1961.
1965–1969Regional juries in each of Sveriges Radio's regions. One point per jury member.
1971Postcard voting in the three semifinals. Regional juries in each of Sveriges Radio's regions decided the final.
1972–1973As 1965–1969.
1974–1975Eleven 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.
1977–1980Regional 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.
1981–1988Regional 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". In 1982 and from 1984 to 1987 the juries were sorted by age, not region, but the voting system remained the same. Regional juries returned in 1988.
1989–1990As 1977–1980.
1991–1992As 1981–1988 with regional juries.
1993A regional televote in which the regions' points were given in the same manner as the previous two competitions: 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8.
1994–1996As 1981–1988 with regional juries.
1997Regional juries. Juries awarded 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 points to their top seven songs.
1998As 1981–1988 with regional juries.
1999–2008Juries 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
2009As 1999–2008 but with the addition of a twelfth 'international' jury, and with televoting points factored up accordingly.
2010As 1999–2008 with eleven juries, but only five from Swedish regions; the other six from other individual European countries.
2011–2017Eleven 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 47 points (47.3).
2018As 2011-2017, but with the addition of 7's, 5's and 3's in the juries voting, to mirror the voting system of Eurovision proper. This creates a total of 638 televoting points on offer.
2019–presentPublic voting now sorted into eight groups: votes through the app are sorted into seven groups based on age, with an eighth group for votes cast by telephone. Each group awards points (1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 and 12 in semi-finals; 0 or 1 in the second-chance duets; 1–8, 10 and 12 in the final) based on its votes. The jury now constitutes eight countries to give equal weight between public and jury vote (i.e. each offer 464 points, with 928 in total). Voting by SMS is discontinued. [5] For the 2020 contest, the televoting results is announced based on the juries' total score starting with the artist in 12th place.

Records

In the event of a tie, the song that received more votes from the public receives the higher position. [6] 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 2014 is The Mamas' one-point win in 2020. [7] 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

SVT has eleven news districts, each of which was represented by a jury in the final of Melodifestivalen from 1974 to 2009. Melodifestivalen juries labelled.png
SVT has eleven news districts, each of which was represented by a jury in the final of Melodifestivalen from 1974 to 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 in Eurovision cast their votes.

Swedish juries

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

International juries

YearJuries
2009 International jury
2010 Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Greece.svg Greece, Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland, Flag of Norway.svg Norway, Flag of Russia.svg Russia, Flag of Serbia.svg Serbia
2011 Flag of Croatia.svg Croatia, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Germany.svg Germany, Flag of Greece.svg Greece, Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of Norway.svg Norway, Flag of Russia.svg Russia, Flag of San Marino.svg San Marino, Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2012 Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium, Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bosnia and Herzegovina, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Germany.svg Germany, Flag of Ireland.svg Ireland, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of Norway.svg Norway, Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2013 Flag of Croatia.svg Croatia, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Germany.svg Germany, Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Italy.svg Italy, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of Spain.svg Spain, Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2014 Flag of Denmark.svg Denmark, Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Germany.svg Germany, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Italy.svg Italy, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands, Flag of Russia.svg Russia, Flag of Spain.svg Spain, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2015 Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia, Flag of Austria.svg Austria, Flag of Belgium (civil).svg Belgium, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands, Flag of Slovenia.svg Slovenia, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2016 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia, Flag of Belarus.svg Belarus, Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Bosnia & Herzegovina, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of Estonia.svg Estonia, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Italy.svg Italy, Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands, Flag of Norway.svg Norway, Flag of Slovenia.svg Slovenia
2017 Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia, Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia, Flag of the Czech Republic.svg Czech Republic, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Italy.svg Italy, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of Norway.svg Norway, Flag of Poland.svg Poland, Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2018 Flag of Albania.svg Albania, Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia, Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Georgia.svg Georgia, Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland, Flag of Italy.svg Italy, Flag of Poland.svg Poland, Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2019 Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia, Flag of Austria.svg Austria, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of Finland.svg Finland, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Portugal.svg Portugal, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom
2020 Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia, Flag of Australia (converted).svg Australia, Flag of Austria.svg Austria, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of Malta.svg Malta, Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands
2021 Flag of Albania.svg Albania, Flag of Cyprus.svg Cyprus, Flag of France.svg France, Flag of Iceland.svg Iceland, Flag of Israel.svg Israel, Flag of the Netherlands.svg Netherlands, Flag of Switzerland.svg  Switzerland, Flag of the United Kingdom.svg United Kingdom

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References

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  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. "Melodifestivalen 2021 Grand Final Televoting Results". svt.se. Retrieved 2021-03-14.
  5. "Här är röstningsändringen som kan avgöra Melodifestivalen 2019". SVT (in Swedish). Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  6. Nordman undvek sistaplatsen Archived 2007-09-30 at the Wayback Machine (in Swedish). SR.se (13 March 2005). Retrieved on 28 April 2007.
  7. "Televoting Results/Winner Annuouncement - Melodifestivalen 2020 Final LIVE". YouTube. March 7, 2020. Retrieved March 7, 2020.