Speaking in Downing Street, after a 20-minute meeting with the Queen, a grim-faced Ms May announced she had the backing of the DUP to provide the "certainty" the country needed.
But that is far from the victory sought - and there are already questions about whether the British electorate were rejecting May's "hard Brexit" approach to leave the European Union whatever deals were made over the divorce.
The left-leaning Labour Party led by socialist Jeremy Corbyn witnessed a 9.6 percent increase in its share of the vote.
In the new government, May plans to ally with the small Democratic Unionist Party in Northern Ireland.
"Without the 14 seats won by the Scottish Conservatives, Mrs May's party would have been languishing on just 305 seats". One electoral district is still not final. May portrayed herself as the "strong and stable" leader who could get the best Brexit deal for Britain and she dismissed Mr. Corbyn as an inexperienced radical.
"The prime minister called the election because she wanted a mandate", Corbyn said.
Instead they will have to get the support of another party, so that together they have enough seats to make a government.
"I don't think that's in the hearts and minds of Londoners at the minute, (not) almost as much as security is", said Sheard, 22.
With an overall majority for the Conservatives possible but not certain and Labour behind them, shadow foreign secretary Emily Thornberry said: "Obviously we're disappointed if we're not able to form a majority government".
"This is a very bad moment for the Conservative Party, and we need to take stock", Conservative lawmaker Anna Soubry said.
In yet ANOTHER U-turn the PM said that "if she lost just six seats she will lose this election, and Jeremy Corbyn will be sitting down to negotiate with the presidents, prime ministers and chancellors of Europe".
But that gamble did not pay off, as concerns about social programs and security issues replaced Brexit as the main talking points in the United Kingdom.
May's Conservative Party lost 12 seats but still retained the largest number in the 650-member House of Commons. Corbyn's Labour Party now has 262 seats. Some parliamentarians in both the Conservative and Labour parties want to remain in the EU.
May unexpectedly called the snap election seven weeks ago, three years early, polls predicting she would massively increase the slim majority she inherited from Cameron. And it throws into question the government's negotiating strategy, and objectives, for the Brexit negotiations with the European Union, which are slated to start on June 19.
Reuters reports that Gunther H. Oettinger, a European Commission budget and human resources commissioner, expressed doubt about the talks starting as planned.
I would like to congratulate you on your reappointment as Prime Minister, Tusk wrote, but added immediately that there was much urgency to start the Brexit negotiations.
She insisted that she would stick to the Brexit timetable.
He said the March 2019 deadline leaves us with no time to lose.
The EU's chief Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier also urged the moving forward of Brexit talks, albeit with less haste.
Others predicted she would soon be gone. The pound lost more than 2 cents against the dollar within seconds of the announcement.
"May stares into the abyss", said The Times' Saturday edition while the Daily Mail led with "Tories Turn On Theresa". May will apparently keep the prime minister's job for now, but her ability to effectively manage what was already an enormously hard economic and political transition has probably been crippled. "We have to wait and see how things shake out".
After Thursday's stunning seat loss, Sturgeon told the BBC that a "post-Brexit uncertainty" was a factor in people's voting choices and "certainly the independence referendum is part of that".