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Football Democracy: Borda Count

9 February 2014

article-2426883-18245E6000000578-953_634x379The Football Democracy survey has established that, using different methods, you could feasibly call Arsenal or Everton the league’s most popular teams.

There’s another method I want to visit – the Borda Count, a variant of which is used in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Using this method, a team gets the most points for each first preference vote, less points for second preference votes and so on.

Applying this to the survey, where each first preference vote earned 20 points, second preference 19 and all the way to last preference 1 point, the voting breaks down as follows (click to enlarge):


By this method, Southampton could claim to be the league’s most popular team, narrowly beating Everton and Swansea:


The Borda Count is quite arbitrary in assigning a value to each vote – in the example above it’s perhaps more reasonable to assign a much greater weight to first preference votes, i.e. a voter’s favourite team. A number of respondents also told me that they didn’t really care about what order their ‘mid table’ choices were; the ‘intensity’ of preference across the votes needs to be considered.

Nevertheless, the fact that three different methods of voting has thrown up three different winners shows that determining popularity – particularly in a sport as divisive as football – is no easy task.

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