The Labour group have ruled out a coalition with the Conservatives, and Independent councillors said they would ‘not enter into any sort of alliance’ with any group.
The Liberal Democrats, who originally said they would favour a cross-party coalition, are said to now be ‘split’.
The last time the council was in a position of no overall control, in the 1980s, a full council meeting last for 13 hours - until 2am.
Jennifer Mein, leader of the authority’s Labour group, is expected to take control. The group are the largest, with 39 seats, but are short of the 43 seats needed to set up an administration.
Coun Geoff Driver, leader of the authority’s Conservative group said: “I want to reassure people, particularly those who are vulnerable and receive county council services, that whilst negotiations are ongoing they don’t need to be concerned.”
Coun Driver, who is still technically leader of the council, continues to ‘sign off’ important decisions which are not politically sensitive.
Independent Coun Sandra Perkins said: “Being in limbo is not a good thing, but it is not something to be rushed. Four years is a long time and this has got to be right.”
The authority faces making savings of £250m over the next four years.
Cumbria County Council, who were also in the same position of no overall control following the local elections, reached an agreement in time for their deadline yesterday.