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4 out of 5 against clock change

Daylight saving practice dates back to 1976 and many believe it is no longer needed

CLOCKS go back an hour this weekend - but four out of five people in France are against the idea, a new survey has revealed.

At 3.00 French time on Sunday morning it will be 2.00 again. A poll by Opinionway has found that less than 20 per cent of French people support the daylight saving practice.

The hour change dates back to the 1976 petrol crisis and aims to save energy use.

The last research, dating back to 2009, estimates the gain at 440GWh per year - the equivalent of 800,000 homes' power consumption.

Some experts argue that the growth of low-energy lightbulbs has made the twice-yearly switch less necessary. Some French farmers claim it also has an effect on their animals, with cows' milk output falling when the clocks change.

In the latest poll, 75 per cent of respondents claimed their health took a hit, often having more difficulty sleeping, lower work productivity or a loss of appetite.

There is a small part of France that refuses to change the time. The Brittany island of Molène, has an age-old tradition of using "solar" time, which means it lags two hours behind the rest of the country in summer and one hour in winter.

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