Eurovision: Pole Position

The annual musical murder and festival of the camp, Eurovision, kicks off tonight in Kiev with the first qualifying semi-final.

The usual outlandish array of the bizarre and downright weird, will assault our screens like some ghoulish advert for Brexit.

In amongst the chaos, however, there remains the deep-seated issues of partisan voting. The system was changed recently to a mix of jury and public vote to try and dilute the partisan effect, which has worked to some small extent, but the influence of friendly voting remains distinct.

One of the biggest features is the impact of the diaspora – the spread of peoples across Europe all of whom enjoy voting for home in the contest.

This was hugely notable last year when a frankly awful Polish entry gained just seven marks in aggregate from the jury vote, only to pick up 222 votes (the third highest) in the public tele-voting.

Poland have a much more viewer-friendly entry this year in blonde songstress Kasia Mos, whose powerful ballad Flashlight, accompanied on suitably clichéd violin, ought to fare much better with the judges.

If that is the case then some helping hands from the Polish emigres in the phone vote could see Poland go very close to winning.

If that is indeed the case, then Poland should go well in the first semi-final. The evens to qualify (top 10) looks a licence to print money, but we prefer more juice. They can be backed at 50/1 to win this heat, which at 1/5 the odds 1-2-3 gives us 10/1 a place.

Recommendation: Poland, 1st Eurovision Semi-Final, 50/1 each way,  William Hill/Paddy Power/Ladbrokes

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