Equal support for summer and winter time

Ministry of Transport and Communications
Publication date 17.10.2018 9.45
Press release

The majority of Finns would like to forgo the daylight saving time practice. Opinions on whether to permanently transition to winter time, i.e. normal time, or summer time are considerably more divided.

This was revealed in a Gallup poll commissioned by the Ministry of Transport and Communications from Kantar TNS Oy and an online survey organised using the Otakantaa forum. Both data collection methods produced highly similar results.

In total, 1,087 people responded to the Gallup poll carried out by Kantar TNS. There is an around three-percentage-point margin of error in each direction in the research findings.

The Otakantaa survey elicited a lot of automated responses. Their share has been taken into account in the examination of the results of the survey.

The Otakantaa survey attracted plenty of feedback

In total, the Otakantaa survey attracted 677,000 responses and 359,000 open answers. The Otakantaa survey was launched on 26 September and was open until 12 October.

Winter time was favoured in around 238,000 responses, while summer time in around 216,000 responses. The percentages of respondents preferring either winter or summer time were divided as follows: 52 per cent favoured winter time and 48 per cent summer time.

The respondents were requested to state their opinions on statements related to time zones. Of the respondents, 49 per cent considered it important or somewhat important that the time difference between Finland and Scandinavia or Central Europe would not be greater than the current one hour. Only 13 per cent of the respondents somewhat or fully disagreed with this statement.

A consultation summary and analysis of the open answers to the Otakantaa survey will be published in the Government's project information service in November.

In total, 360,000 open answers were given, of which 220,000 are apparently by response bots. There were around 140,000 open answers that must be analysed. 

The open answers will be processed as part of a consultation round starting in October aimed at experts, organisations and other stakeholders.

Considerable number of automated responses detected in the Otakantaa survey results

The accumulation of responses in the Otakantaa service was followed to detect any misuse. The number of bot responses was relatively high, particularly after 6 October. The detected bot responses have been eliminated from the currently published results.

The survey was carried out similarly as numerous previous Otakantaa surveys. Bot responses have posed no problem in previous surveys.

The Otakantaa.fi service is part of the electronic democracy services maintained by the Ministry of Justice.

Strong support for abolishing daylight saving time

A Gallup poll carried out by Kantar TNS Oy was used to collect information about Finnish people's opinions of the daylight saving time practice.

The survey data were collected between 22 and 27 September 2018. The total number of responses was 1,087. There is an around three-percentage-point margin of error in each direction in the research findings. The group of research participants represents Finns aged 15-74.

Based on the Gallup poll, the majority of Finns were in favour of scrapping the daylight saving time practice and permanently transitioning to the current summer or winter time. Nearly nine out of ten, or 87 per cent, of the survey participants shared this view. Only six per cent were against the change.

The vast majority of all population groups included in the survey were in favour of abolishing the daylight saving time practice. Views on the matter were highly similar regardless of the person considering the issue.

Winter time slightly more popular than summer time

If making a permanent transition to either current summer or current winter time were presented as the alternatives, winter time was also slightly more popular in the Gallup poll.

Nearly one out of two, or 47 per cent, of the research participants considered permanent winter time to be the better alternative. By contrast, two fifths, or 39 per cent, would prefer turning their clocks permanently to the current summer time. 14 per cent of the respondents did not express an opinion in favour of either winter or summer time.

All of the studied population groups included proponents of both summer and winter time.

What next?

The processing of the Commission's proposal will be continued in the Council of the European Union and European Parliament. The issue will be discussed at the Working Party on Land Transport and an informal meeting of transport ministers. Finland cannot make a decision on scrapping daylight saving time at the national level; instead, a decision on the matter must be made in the EU.

Next, the proposal for a Directive will be processed in the Government and Parliament. Finland's official position on the Commission's proposal will be determined as a result of the processing.

Members of the public have been widely consulted in connection with the preparation. For instance, people's views have been explored with a Gallup poll and a survey aimed at the general public organised in the Otakantaa service of the Ministry of Justice.

The collected information is utilised in preparing the issue. Experts from different industries will also be consulted, and their views will be considered in the preparation process. A consultation round will be organised between October and November to hear the views of experts and different stakeholders.

If the Directive is adopted, it will be done based on a co-decision by the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. Only after this may it be adopted at the national level in each EU Member State.

The Parliament will make the final decision on which time will be chosen for permanent use if the daylight saving time practice is scrapped in the EU. A law will be enacted on the issue and a decision will be made in connection with the enactment.

The results of the Gallup poll carried out by Kantar TNS Oy and the survey conducted in the Otakantaa service of the Ministry of Justice are available in the Government's project information service.

Re: Valtioneuvosto.fi: The abolishment of summer time arrangements (LVM070:00/2018)



The abolishment of summer time arrangements:

Elina Thorström, Director of Unit, Ministry of Transport and Communications, Safety and Security Unit, tel. +358 40 507 4502

Otakantaa.fi service:

Niklas Wilhelmsson, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Justice, 02951 50348

(A correction to the text has been made 18 October 2018 at 13.00)