COMING second isn’t so bad, right? Wrong. It means you’re the first loser. If anything, the biggest of all the losers.

Melbourne doesn’t come second — not in the conversation about which city is “the world’s most liveable city”.

It hasn’t come second for seven years. SEVEN.

The last time Melbourne wasn’t the world’s most liveable city, Mary MacKillop was not yet a saint, Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister (but so was Julia Gillard) and 16-year-old Jessica Watson was somewhere at sea completing a solo voyage around the world.

Now, I’m not saying Tuesday’s announcement that Melbourne came second in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Global Liveability Index points to some sort of collusion, but I am saying it’s worth investigating.

Did Vienna line somebody’s pockets? It’s hard to say what finishing second for seven consecutive years would make a country do.

The Austrian capital which, like Melbourne, is built on the banks of a river, took the title based on somewhat flimsy metrics including healthcare, education, infrastructure and stability.

The two metropolises scored equal points for healthcare, education and infrastructure, so NAPLAN can’t be that bad. But Vienna was more stable, judges said.

There’s every chance all that talk about “African gangs”, all those racist rants on public transport and Richmond fans destroying the CBD after winning the flag played a role.

Billie Giles-Corti from RMIT’s Centre for Urban Research could not say which factor, if any, was responsible.

“It’s not an objective measure. They ring up and get insights from their local informants,” she told ABC Radio this morning.

They “ring up” and have a chat to some bloke about how the city’s going? If that’s what we’re basing the rankings on, can they really be trusted?

In third place behind Vienna was Osaka, Japan, home to more neon lights than Times Square and those delicious raw octopus balls.

Calgary in Canada came fourth, several spots ahead of seven-time Liveability Index winner Vancouver. If anything is going to start a civil war there, it’s this.

Sydney came in fifth despite it being proven that driving from the city to Bondi and back on a weekend ages a person significantly.

The authority said on Tuesday that terrorism in Europe had kept Vienna out of top place for several years, ignoring the fact that Melbourne has the best coffee in the world.

“While in the past couple of years, cities in Europe were affected by the spreading perceived threat of terrorism in the region, which caused heightened security measures, the past year has seen a return to normalcy,” the EIU said on Tuesday.

“A long-running contender to the title, Vienna has succeeded in displacing Melbourne from the top spot due to increases in the Austrian capital’s stability category ratings.”

This is not over, Vienna.