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Sweden tops Eurovision predictions, but is Malta second?

Sweden’s Loreen.

Sweden’s Loreen.

Sweden is in pole position to win this evening's Eropean Song Contest, according to most predictions today.

But one Eurovision watcher is predicting that it will be a close fight with...Malta.

Maartin O'Leary a mathematician who works as a research fellow at the University of Michigan has conducted a mathematical analysis of voting patterns in the Eurovision since 1998.

In his blog Cold Hard Facts (http://mewo2.github.com/ ) he writes:

"Sweden have jumped back into the lead, having now qualified for the final. They're joined in a very close second place by Malta, one of the surprise qualifiers from the second semifinal. Malta have very few strong inbound friendship links, either positive or negative. This means that their chances of victory are more sensitive than most to song quality. The fact that they qualified from what should have been a fairly tough semifinal shows that they've got a well-liked song, with a reasonable shot at winning the whole contest.

Overall, it looks likely that next year's contest will be in Scandinavia, with Sweden, Denmark and Norway all having decent chances. The Balkans are not looking quite so good, nor are the Soviet bloc. In fact, this might be one of Western Europe's best contests in a while."

The Eurovision press corps, which includes accredited journalists and ESC insiders, have predicted that Spain’s Pastora Soler will win Eurovision with her song “Quedate Conmigo.” Malta, in their view, is 18th.

Sweden's  Loreen is the bookies' favourite however, followed by Iceland, Italy, Estonia and Norway.

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