Government whips are understood to be preparing contingency plans to recall parliament if Scotland votes for independence next week, which would postpone the start of the Labour party conference. Downing Street strongly denied it is making any contingency plans but other well placed sources confirmed that whips have been determining the whereabouts of Conservative MPs on the weekend after next Thursday’s Scottish referendum vote. No 10 also said it has not made any plans for a reaction by the markets, but the Bank of England has already said it is “making contingency plans about contingency plans”. Labour is currently proceeding with its conference on the assumption of a no vote, and senior figures are still optimstic that the Scots will pull back from voting for separation.
Traditonally Labour seeks to dominate the media agenda on the weekend before its party conference – its last before the general election – with a round of media interviews and key policy announcements building to Miliband’s keynote speech on the Tuesday.
Parties regard annual conferences as essential springboards for their general election campaigns. But a yes vote would create a constitutional crisis that would derail the conference season. Many Labour MPs think it inconceivable that Cameron would not ask for a recall for parliament.