Eurovision 2021: countries James Newman can rely on for votes in final as data reveals UK allies - and enemies

The UK is no stranger to a humiliating ‘nil points’ at the Eurovision Song Contest - but who can we rely on for support this weekend?

This Saturday (22 May), the 65th Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will take place in Rotterdam.

But how likely is it that the UK will take home the trophy?

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

NationalWorld has crunched the numbers to reveal everything you need to know about the UK’s relationship with the participating nations.

Which countries can the UK rely on for Eurovision votes? (Images: JPI / Getty)

And most importantly revealing who we can, and can’t, rely on for support this weekend.

The fan club

This year’s entrant for the UK is Brit Award-winning singer/songwriter James Newman who will be performing the song ‘Embers’ – but who is James most likely to impress?

According to figures published on open data site, Data.World, Ireland is our biggest supporter. Our Irish neighbours have been generous over the years and awarded the UK the greatest number of points since 1975, with a total of 219. That is followed by Austria with 168 points and Portugal with 156.

(Graphic: JPI / Mark Hall)

Competition super fans will be aware that not every country features at each contest – some are new to the game (we’re looking at you, Australia) and some have changed names or territories over the years. This analysis has looked at results from every final from 1975 to 2019.

Name of country Points awarded to the UK
Ireland 219
Austria 168
Portugal 156
Germany 153
France 152
Belgium 149
Israel 146
Switzerland 143
Denmark 141
Malta 134

When looking at separate data from Eurovision Song Contest Database on overall wins since the competition's inception in 1956, Ireland comes out top as the ultimate Eurovision champion. It has won the competition an almighty seven times, even beating Eurovision heavyweight, Sweden, who have won six times.

‘Nil points’

Not all our Eurovision rivals are as supportive as Ireland though.

Despite winning five times since its launch in 1956 – and technically holding joint-third place in the Eurovision hall of fame with France, Luxembourg and The Netherlands – the UK isn’t exactly known as a megastar at the singing contest.

The last time the UK won was way back in 1997 when Katrina and the Waves' anthem ‘Love Shine a Light’ took home the esteemed title.

But is it political or is it purely down to the catchiest song of the night?

Name of country Number of times the UK has received zero points
Greece 28
Sweden 27
Iceland 27
Netherlands 26
Norway 26
Finland 26
France 25
Belgium 25
Spain 24
Germany 23

Whatever the reason for the UK’s less than favourable history, we’re no stranger to ‘nil points’.

Greece has awarded us ‘nil points’ 28 times, more than any other country since 1975, followed by Iceland and Sweden on 27.

Let’s see if we can win them over on Saturday night.

The 65th Eurovision Song Contest grand final is on BBC One on Saturday 22 May at 8pm in a special programme hosted by Graham Norton. Here’s everything you need to know about the Eurovision final.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.