UK voters want to ‘Brexit’ from Eurovision Song Contest too
A poll has found that UK voters want a Brexit from the Eurovision Song Contest too.
The research, carried out by OnePoll, was commissioned by betting company Ladbrokes ahead of the camp music contest which kicks off next week.
The UK will this year be represented by Lucie Jones with ‘I Will Never Give Up On You’, which has an emotionally charged double-meaning for many as the UK begins the process of leaving the European Union.
Although the contest is not actually connected to the European Union, a wave of anti-Europe sentiment in the UK has damaged public opinion of the event, and many people now want to Brexit from Eurovision as well.
The OnePoll research found that 53.6 percent of Brits want the UK to withdraw from the contest, while 46.4 percent want to remain.
The results of the poll are strikingly similar to the result of last year’s EU referendum, when 51.89 percent of voters favoured Leave, compared to 48.11 for Remain.
Of those who want a Brexit from Eurovision, 63 percent say the contest is a “big waste of money” – while 26 percent say it’s a “national embarrassment”.
Leave supporters also cited the UK’s run of poor finishes in Eurovision over the past decade, with the UK cracking the top 10 just once in the past 15 years.
Two-thirds of respondents believe the UK will never win Eurovision again, while 52 percent of older voters believe the UK will get fewer voters because of Brexit.
Alex Donohue of Ladbrokes said: “It’s been 20 years since the UK won the Eurovision and Brits seem to feel like it will be another 20 until we win again.
“Brexit means Brexit, and it looks like leaving the EU will do us no favours this year when it comes to emerging victorious.”
The bookmaker is currently giving odds of just 50/1 of a UK victory on the night, with odds-on favourites Italy on just 4/6.
Just 2.2% of respondents think the contest is good value for money – but given the hefty audience it draws across multiple platforms it is among the most cost-effective hours of programming the BBC has, behind the Queen’s Christmas Broadcast.
The BBC and EBU both assure us that there are no plans for a withdrawal – with the BBC getting quite irate about our April Fools’ story announcing a departure last month.
A spokesperson for the EBU told PinkNews: “The Eurovision Song Contest is a non-political event and participation in the show is dependent upon the national broadcasters being members of the European Broadcasting Union and not related to EU membership.
“[The UK] will still be eligible to enter the Eurovision Song Contest [after Brexit].”
One staunch Remainer is former Prime Minister David Cameron, who previously declared his support for a strong and stable song contest.
He said: “I think given that Israel and Azerbaijan and anyone anywhere near Europe seems to be able to [take part], even Australia, I think we’re pretty safe from that one.”
The complexities of withdrawing from Eurovision would ironically mirror many of the issues around Brexit on a smaller scale.
For example, the BBC would have to negotiate a new agreement if it wants to retain the rights to broadcast the contest without being part of it.
The broadcaster would also have to decide if it wants to just leave the contest, or quit the European Broadcasting Union as a whole.
One country that has made an exit from this year’s Eurovision is Russia, after a dispute with the contest’s Ukrainian hosts.
The Eurovision Song Contest Grand Final will air on BBC One on Saturday, May 13, at 7 PM.
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