01/09/2014 09:26 BST | Updated 31/10/2014 05:59 GMT

Can Cupcakes Predict Whether Scotland Will Vote for Independence?


Scotland faces a massive decision that it has never faced before and the world will be watching.

This is the first time Scotland will hold a public vote on independence. Pursuits for independence have historically resulted in wars being fought between nations. And while Scotland has fought for freedom in the past, the Scotland of today, renowned for its inventors, thinkers and artists, will answer the question of independence through democracy.

On the 18th September 2014, all United Kingdom, European Union and Commonwealth nationals (aged 16+) living in Scotland will vote whether Scotland should be its own country and break away from the United Kingdom. The voting age in the UK is 18 - making this anomaly of 16 and 17 year old referendum voters an intriguing factor for pollsters. Considering the importance of the referendum, there may also be people, who normally do not vote, who decide to vote on the 18th September. With so many unknown variables even the accuracy of the polls is an unknown.

Despite this unknown, it's no wonder the British media has closely followed the independence referendum, campaign adverts have become more frequent (#patronisingBTlady anyone?) and debates have been viewed, critiqued and commented on. So it's no surprise that an Edinburgh bakery has found a way to poll its customers on their views.

Cuckoo's Bakery, where the current Best Cake in Scotland can be found, wanted to find a way to get people involved in the upcoming vote so, in March, they created yes, no and undecided cupcakes. Every fortnight they publish a cupcake poll that shows the percentage of yes, no and undecided cupcake purchases during the two week period. Their waitress said that some people take the cupcake poll very seriously - asking if their vote is winning. Others will buy 10 yes or no cupcakes at a time. Alistair Darling even paid a visit to purchase several no cupcakes.


The bakery's most recent poll was held on Friday 29 August. It has the no vote at 46.6% in a slight lead above the yes voters at 45.3% with 8.1% undecided. However, Cuckoo's Bakery said that the no votes have always been miles ahead of the yes votes until the last couple of weeks. The polls are posted on their shop window on Dundas Street and on their Facebook page.

If you compare the cupcake poll with the recent referendum polls you'll be surprised to see that the cupcake polls are not too far off the mark. The referendum polls have varied in their reports with three to 32% between yes and no votes and a seven and 33% difference among undecideds. Amongst the polls, I know which one is my favourite. And while I am not eligible to vote in the referendum, I made sure I grabbed a referendum cupcake. Indecision have never tasted so good.