A long-standing Labour figure stunned her party by revealing she is supporting independence.
In an announcement timed to undermine the party conference in Inverness, Scottish Co-operative Party chairwoman Mary Lockhart said she will vote Yes in the September 2014 referendum.
Ms Lockhart, 53, who has been a member of the Labour Party for more than 30 years, attacked the party for a perceived shift to the right and said after much soul-searching she has developed a “new resolve”.
She added: “A resolve to vote Yes in the referendum for Scottish independence.
“It won’t deliver Utopia, but it will deliver the chance for socialists to help shape a Scotland which reflects the identity of its people.”
The pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign are trying to convince many Labour supporters to vote for independence as they seek to turn around the polls.
A spokesman for the group said: “Increasingly, they know that only independence offers the opportunity for a fairer Scotland, which is why support for Yes Scotland comes from people the length and breadth of the country, of all backgrounds as well as all political party loyalties and none.”