By politics.co.uk staff
The Liberal Democrats have been told to embrace short-termist politics to end their slump in the polls by "external brand experts".
MPs were briefed about the work, which has been going on for some months, last week. It has now emerged the experts recommend "short-term themes, straplines and soundbites" as a way of recovering from their current unpopularity.
Disastrous local election results earlier this year are thought to have prompted a recognition for the need to improve the Lib Dems' performance. They polled just 11% in a YouGov poll out this weekend.
The advice, seen by the Sunday Telegraph and Mail on Sunday newspapers, suggested making the Lib Dems more like Oxfam - which has a clear goal of ending world poverty and suffering.
The Lib Dems could seek to create the most innovative and socially mobile nation by embracing their roots of freedom and equality of opportunity and their optimistic, pioneering and caring nature, it was suggested.
Flagging up the party's historical achievements, including the abolition of slavery and giving property rights to women, was also proposed by the branding experts.
"The main thrust of the briefing was that voters have no idea what the party wants, or what it stands for," a Lib Dem MP told the Mail on Sunday.
"Clegg is very worried about it, hence all the stuff about getting a 'brand'."