Britons divided on ending daylight saving time

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
March 29, 2019, 10:18 AM GMT+0

Most would prefer to stay on permanent summer time if we stopped changing the clocks

Earlier this week the European Parliament voted to scrap an EU-wide rule requiring countries to practice daylight saving time.

From 2021, member states will have to choose to stay on either permanent summer time or winter time.

Should Britain opt at the last moment to remain in the EU or still be in the transition phase by that point then we too shall have to make the same decision.

Faced with this choice a new YouGov Realtime survey finds that the majority of Britons (59%) would opt to remain permanently on summer time, sacrificing light in the morning in the winter for more daylight on summer evenings.

Only 22% would prefer to fix the clocks to winter time, granting more light on winter mornings but an earlier sunset on summer nights. Scots are the most likely to prefer this option, unsurprising given that their more northerly latitude means that permanent summer time would result in daylight not starting until 10am in some areas. But even among those north of the wall only 28% choose this option.

As it is, many Britons would rather not have to make that choice in the first place. When asked 44% would rather continue with the practice of putting clocks forward in the summer and back in the winter, slightly more than the 39% who would rather scrap the practice.

Again – and likely for the reasons described above – Scots are outliers, with 56% preferring to preserve daylight saving time compared to 40-45% in England and Wales.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here