The study examined the likely impact of the introduction of proportional representation in local government elections and the feasibility of effective cabinet and mayoral government in hung councils.
Currently 34% of councils are hung. This would rise to between 60% and 65% if voting patterns stay the same, according to the research findings.
'A handful of hung authorities are difficult to manage, but we are now seeing all-party cabinets. Politicians in the UK are perhaps not as predisposed to looking for co-operating partners,' said Steve Leach, professor of local government at De Montfort University.
'Co-operation is more readily accepted on the Continent, where they are used to working together. There are a number of Labour and Lib Dem coalitions in the UK, but many of the authorities hung at the moment have been like that for a long time and it could be difficult if groups are thrown together,' said Professor Michael Thrasher of the LGC Elections Centre at the University of Plymouth.
- Political behaviour under proportional representation is available from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, tel: 020 7278 9665.