First Minister Nicola Sturgeon could spell out her hopes for a second independence referendum directly on the Holyrood election ballot paper.
Three applications have been made with options for “Both Votes SNP for IndyRef2”, “Nicola Sturgeon for SNP First Minister” and “Vote SNP for IndyRef2”.
The tactic emerged as the SNP moves closer to publishing a bill on a second vote on the constitution. It is understood that the party could be ready to reveal plans on timing and a potential question.
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said the SNP are going “full steam ahead”.
He added: “Their priority is clear – indyref2 at all costs. It’s the height of recklessness that shows an extreme disregard for Scotland’s recovery efforts.”
Boris Johnson has ruled out another vote
Conservatives have also asked the elections watchdog to allow them to put the constitution on the ballot paper.
The party has submitted requests to display “End Division, No Referendum, Rebuild Scotland” and “Not Another Referendum, Time for Recovery”.
The Electoral Commission in Scotland aims to work through the requests this month.
Recent polls suggest that the SNP’s hope for a majority hangs in the balance ahead of the election on Thursday May 6. Voters also appear to be stubbornly split on independence.
Ms Sturgeon could claim that a mandate for a referendum if elected with a majority on that ticket.
If she falls short, the Scottish Green Party might have enough MSPs to maintain a pro-independence balance at the Scottish Parliament.
However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has refused to give ground on the issue of another vote on Scotland’s future.