Senior Liberal Democrats believe the party may have to "disengage" from government early to avoid a heavy defeat at the next general election in 2015, according to reports.
The Times claims the sentiment was discovered following an investigation into relations within the coalition government.
It quoted one unnamed source as telling it: "We will have to disengage and we will have to decide whether it is a matter of weeks or months."
It follows heavy losses for the Lib Dems during last week's local elections, when the BBC reported the party dropped below 3,000 councillors for the first time.
According to The Times, senior Lib Dems think the party will need to reassert its independence from its Conservative governing partners well before the next polling day in May 2015.
Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is set to join Prime Minister David Cameron to restate the purpose and commitment of the coalition in Essex today.
Two global vehicles
'Further plug advice gap'
Must appoint separate CEOs and boards
Advisers do come out well
Will report to Mark Till