Fact check: News reports about EU daylight savings referendum


Recently, a daylight savings referendum was responded to by people over the whole European Union. The main question was whether the EU should maintain the system of switching clocks twice a year for the summer daylight savings  – or just abolish it altogether.

Claim: 

The fact checking request comes from the numbers announced in media regarding the results. The Guardian newspaper refers to more than 80 per cent of the EU population’s will to abolish the daylight savings scheme, but there are also mentions in Público (Portuguese) that less than 1 percent of the population of each country voted.

Fact check:

The claim that more than 80 percent of  the EU citizens voted against bi-annual time changes, is false. According to a press release issued by the European Commission, 84 percent of respondents are in favour of ending the bi-annual clock change.

The claim that less than one percent of the population of each country voted is true in respect of the member states as a whole. According to the same press release, the consultation received 4.6 million responses from all 28 member states which constitute about 0.89 percent of the roughly 513 million residents (Eurostat) in the EU.

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