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Poll: Majority of Finns support standard time

Over half of Finnish residents support a permanent transition to standard time, ending the practice of daylight savings time, according to a government poll.

Kaksi herätyskelloa, toinen kesä- ja toinen talviajassa.
The majority of Finnish residents polled favour standard time, also known as winter time. Image: Antti Aimo-Koivisto / Lehtikuva

A new survey finds that the majority of respondents living in Finland said they would like to give up daylight savings time, the practice of turning clocks one hour forward in spring and one hour back in winter.

The information came to light from the Ministry of Justice’s Otakantaa.fi service, which organised the poll.

The survey received close to 677,000 responses. Of respondents, about 238,000 – about 52 percent – supported standard time while about 216,000 (48 percent) voted for daylight savings time, which is also referred to as summer time.

The survey’s questions also included ones relating to time zones.

Forty-nine percent of respondents felt that it was important that Finland’s time difference to Scandinavia and central Europe would not change from the current one-hour time difference.

About 220,000 responses were automated responses from robots, which were not included in the final results.

Gallup reveals similar results

Finnish opinions about shifting clock times back and forth were also surveyed by Kantar TNS’s Gallup research. By mid-September, 1,087 people between the ages of 15 to 74 had responded: 87 percent supported ending the practice of switching clocks back and forth for daylight savings time. Of the respondents, 47 percent held the view that standard time was a better option. Thirty-nine percent supported keeping the current practice of daylight savings time, which dates back to 1981. Fourteen percent didn’t take a stance either way.

Change requires EU approval

Finland cannot abolish daylight savings time on its own, as any change on the matter requires a decision at the EU level.

The EU commission has made several proposals for ending the practice of daylight savings time, which are currently under consideration.

In Finland, the directive will be dealt with by government and parliament, in an effort to determine Finland’s official stance for the commission.

The EU Parliament and the European Council will decide whether the directive is approved or not. After that, any change would be set into force in all EU member states.

If the EU decides to end the biannual time-changing practice, Finland’s parliament will then make the final decision about which time – daylight savings also known as summer time or standard time, also referred to as winter time – is chosen.

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