But May vowed to "fulfil the promise of Brexit", in a statement outside her Downing Street office after seeking permission from the head of state Queen Elizabeth II to form a new government.
ConservativesIt's unlikely that May would try to go it alone as a minority government, given that many of her policies - the reintroduction of grammar schools, for example - face fierce opposition from MPs both from other parties and her own. From whom? From her party?
"I will never apologise for my view which is, yes of course you've got to inspire people, and we haven't done that well enough in the past".
Before yesterday's election there had been widespread speculation in the British media that May would replace Hammond if she won a large majority. By-elections eliminated Labour's majority, and a pact with the former Liberal Party in 1977 eventually collapsed, leading to the 1979 election.
Now, the survey has revealed that 26 per cent of Labour voters committed to the party in "the last few days".
But May, facing scorn for running a lackluster campaign, was determined to hang on.
The center-right DUP's 10 seats are enough to give the Conservatives a fragile but workable partnership.
She's been heavily criticized by many in the United Kingdom for cozying up to the USA leader, but has staunchly stood by him, consistently citing a "special relationship" that has tied the two nations together since the days of Winston Churchill and Franklin D. Roosevelt.
With the complex talks on the divorce from the European Union due to start in 10 days, it was unclear what their direction would now be and if the so-called "Hard Brexit" taking Britain out of a single market could still be pursued.
Barely a month ago, the centre-left party seemed doomed to lose the election, plagued by internal divisions over its direction under veteran socialist Corbyn.
She said she "obviously wanted a different result" and felt "sorry" for colleagues who lost their seats.
It would represent a remarkable turnaround in Labour and Jeremy Corbyn's fortunes and a spectacular decline in the popularity of Theresa May's Conservatives since the Prime Minister's decision to call the snap election. "With a weak negotiating partner, there's a danger that the (Brexit) negotiations will turn out badly for both sides". "Let's put our minds together on striking a deal", Michel Barnier said. They formed part of May's small inner circle and were blamed by many Conservatives for the party's lacklustre campaign and unpopular election platform, which alienated older voters with its plan to take away a winter fuel allowance and make them pay more for long-term care.
EU President Donald Tusk urged Britain not to delay the talks, due to start on June 19, warning that time was running out to reach a divorce deal to end four decades of membership. The result ended his career and shocked Europe. The British Parliament has a total of 650 seats. "Instead of strong and stable leadership we witness chaos and uncertainty", he said, mocking May's campaign slogan.
"It appears clear they were determined this time to make a difference and vote", he said.
May's two closest aides resigned on Saturday, paying the price for the failure to crush the opposition Labour Party under its radical left-wing leader Jeremy Corbyn. "I blame her party for destroying Britain by pushing for Brexit and austerity, two things that will ultimately be bad for my generation". The pound fell 2 cents agains the USA dollar seconds after a national exit poll suggested the Tories could lose their already slim majority.
"A failed campaign leaves Theresa May humbled and her party reeling", its editorial said. To many, her silence was seen as weak and further damaged her reputation in the public's eye days before the election.