25/09/2012 14:52 BST | Updated 25/09/2012 15:42 BST

Lib Dems Dismiss Leaked 'Support Is Elusive' Document

BRIGHTON - The Liberal Democrats have sought to dismiss a leaked internal document that reportedly exposes the weakness of their campaign organisation.

The presentation said to have been shown to Nick Clegg and his aides in the last few months was leaked to The Spectator on Tuesday morning in the middle of the party's annual conference in Brighton.

Embarrassingly for the party the slides are titled "Lib Dem support is elusive" and one concludes: "we have little valid evidence that our tactics actually work".

The presentation also warns that despite having the most advanced voter targeting system, it only has reliable data for less than 2% of the population - rendering it almost useless.

The presentation will be grim reading for MPs, councillors and party activists who fear electoral oblivion at the next election, despite the insistence from the Lib Dem leadership that voters will reward them for sticking with the coalition.

Another slide that will alarm Lib Dems on the ground adds: "Staff lack research literacy and capacity to analyse data properly. Many recognise that more can be done, but don't know how."

However a party spokesman dismissed the presentation as "neither commissioned nor used by the party" and said its author was not an important figure.

"It hasn't played any part in any strategic discussion or decision," the Lib Dem press office said. "The Spectator document was written by a 21-year old Canadian student who was employed some time ago to set up a computer system."

However one former Lib Dem HQ staffer admitted to The Huffington Post UK that even if the document was not high-level he was unsurprised by reports that the internal operation has been dysfunctional.

He said many of the campaign staff had been "coasting" in the years up to the 2011 local elections and it took the shock of bad losses before they had to justify their positions, with many being told to reapply for their jobs.