None of the other parties that stood for election managed to surpass the majority threshold resulting in a British hung parliament.
With the Conservatives no longer commanding a majority in the House of Commons, the results announced overnight are set to deliver nothing like "the strong and stable leadership" May said the United Kingdom needed in the Brexit talks and which was a central aim for her asking the country to go back to the polls just two years after her predecessor David Cameron won the Conservatives that small but working majority. "Britain on a knife edge", said the Daily Mail. Pundits had expected the UKIP vote to go strongly to the Conservatives. Conservative Party loyalists urged her to change her leadership style, while critics talked about her days being numbered.
Here are a few questions over what it means and its implications for the country. "Brussels will be licking its lips", it said. In 2015, the exit poll suggested they would fall short, but when the actual results came in they had a slim majority.
Sterling plunged against the dollar and the euro as the election result created even more uncertainty over the whole Brexit process.
With a hung parliament guaranteed, the so-called "hard Brexit" that May had been pushing for seems less and less likely to pass.
The exit poll pointed to an extraordinary failure for May, who was enjoying opinion poll leads of 20 points and more when she called the snap election just seven weeks ago.
It pushes for new free trade deals globally as well as a "comprehensive free trade and customs agreement with the European Union".
Shortly after her comments Downing Street confirmed that five high-profile Cabinet ministers would remain in place.
May was widely derided for endlessly repeating her slogan of "strong and stable leadership" despite her u-turn on the care policy. Some critics nicknamed her "the Maybot".
The results of the UK's general election are in. but there wasn't a clear victor.
Boris Johnson denies plot to topple UK PM Theresa May
However, its roots are apparent in its vehement opposition to gay marriage, abortion and Irish language rights. The DUP were as "surprised as anybody" by Downing Street's original announcement, the BBC understands.
By contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, a veteran socialist who had initially been written off as a no-hoper, was widely deemed to have run a strong, policy-rich campaign that enthused many followers. Given the election arithmetic, Labour would struggle to get the numbers to form a government.
The Scottish National Party were the other big losers on the night, suffering a humbling loss of 21 seats-unthinkable after their previously unassailable position north of the border. Other parties were projected to win 18 seats.
She recently justified her position once again by claiming that she knows "plenty" of gay people who don't want to get married, claiming it's all become "a storm in a teacup".
She warned European Union ambassadors in January that attempts to punish Britain would be an "act of calamitous self-harm" for European Union countries and repeatedly told voters during the campaign that she would be prepared to walk away from talks without a deal.
Foster has yet to set out her demands but her party wants an end to prosecutions of British soldiers who fought in Northern Ireland and an easing of restrictions on parades.
However, the Liberal Democrats ruled out a coalition in 2017's election. They were close to wiped out in the 2015 election.
Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said on the Andrew Marr show he believed the Conservative Party and the DUP will be able to hold together in government.
May sought permission Friday from head of state Queen Elizabeth II to form a minority government, supported by Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
Ms Davidson, who became engaged to partner Jen Wilson in May 2016, later told the BBC: "I was fairly straightforward with her (Mrs May) and I told her that there were a number of things that count to me more than the party".