Majority of Germans in favour of ditching clock changes

Majority of Germans in favour of ditching clock changes

It’s that time of year again: at 3 am on Sunday, October 31, the clocks will be set back one hour, having been set forward one hour in the spring. But has this seasonal clock change had its day? A substantial majority of people in Germany certainly hope so. 

Majority of Germans want to abolish daylight saving time

“Spring forward. Fall back.” Most of us have gotten used to the twice-yearly changing of the clocks, forcing us to get up a little earlier in March, and enjoying a blissful hour’s lie-in in October. 

But the people of Germany appear to have grown tired of daylight savings time. According to a new survey, a clear majority (71 percent) of Germans are in favour of abolishing the practice of changing the clocks in spring and autumn. This was the result of a representative survey by the polling institute YouGov. 

Just 18 percent of survey respondents indicated that they would be in favour of keeping daylight saving time.

Why do we change the clocks twice a year?

The practice of turning the clocks forward and back twice a year originates in Canada. On July 1, 1908, residents of Port Arthur in Ontario decided to set their clocks forward one hour. They were later copied by other Canadian cities. 

In 1916, during the First World War, the German and Austro-Hungarian Empires adopted the practice, realising that it would help save them fuel for the war effort by cutting back on artificial lighting. Quickly recognising the benefits, France, Britain and their allies copied them.

A century later, the practice continues. The rationale is to allow people to benefit from extra daylight on summer evenings and winter mornings - which in turn affects everything from sports leisure and farming to energy, crime and safety on roads. At the same time, however, daylight saving time has been shown to disrupt circadian rhythms and even cause serious health detriments - as well as simply being a bit of a hassle.

The EU Commission has been planning to abolish the time change since at least 2018. The EU Parliament spoke out in favour of dropping it in 2019, but the project has stalled because member states cannot agree on whether to permanently adopt summer time or winter time. So we may have to live with daylight saving time for a while longer yet. 



Abi Carter

Abi studied History & German at the University of Manchester. She has since worked as a writer, editor and content marketeer, but still has a soft spot for museums, castles...

Read more



Leave a comment