Mixed feelings for clock change

Hannah ThompsonYouGovLabs and UK Public Opinion Website Editor
February 26, 2011, 12:04 AM GMT+0

The majority of the British public would support moving the clocks in Britain forward an hour and adopting British Summer Time (BST) all year round, but unsurprisingly, most Scots, who would arguably be most affected by such a change, are less in favour, our poll has found. Such a move would bring the country in line with most of the rest of west Europe (such as France and Spain, but not Portugal), and would result in darker mornings and lighter evenings.

  • 53% of people want the clocks to go forward an hour in Britain
  • 32% would be opposed to any change
  • Scots are the least in favour of the change, with just 35% supporting the idea
  • And 52% of Scots opposing
  • Interestingly, older people in general are much more likely to support the clocks going forward, with 60% of the over 60s agreeing with the move
  • Compared with only 36% of 18 to 24 year-olds

‘Darkness in Dundee’

The Government has recently outlined a proposal to move UK’s clocks forward in line with continental Europe as part of a new tourism strategy. It is hoped that lighter evenings would bring a host of benefits including boosting British tourism revenue by £3.5bn and, because experts predict that the change would reduce evening accident rates, save over 200m for the NHS every year.

However, critics in Scotland have argued against the proposals, saying that any evening benefits would be cancelled out by increased accidents during the morning commute and school runs, and could see many children walking to school in the dark, with some parts of Scotland not seeing daylight until 10am in winter. Angus MacNeil, the Nationalist MP for the Western Isles, thinks that the Coalition’s plans are a cynical move and told the Daily Mail that, ‘Plunging Dundee into darkness to boost tourism in Torquay is simply not acceptable’.

See the survey details and full results here