"When (Prime Minister Theresa) May called the (snap) election, it looked like it was going to be a landslide for the Conservatives", Deb Smith said, "but it flipped during the campaign".
But criticism within the Tory ranks continued, focusing on the way Mrs May had worked as premier and party leader and the influence of her inner circle.
May, who went into the election with a reputation for quiet competence, was criticized for a lackluster campaigning style and for a plan to force elderly people to pay more for their care, a proposal her opponents dubbed the "dementia tax".
At the time, it seemed to make sense.
The Conservative Party has depended on Irish politicians before: Prime Minister John Major relied on support from the Ulster Unionist Party to shore up his tiny majority in 1992-1997.
The political turmoil comes a week before Britain is due to start negotiating the terms of its exit from the European Union in talks of unprecedented complexity that are supposed to wrap up by the end of March 2019, when Britain actually leaves.
So she flung the dice - and lost. But she did not win a majority of the seats, resulting in what is called a "hung Parliament".
Embattled British Prime Minister Theresa May appointed ministers to her shaky government Sunday, as some Conservative colleagues rallied to support her - and others said her days were numbered after last week's disastrous election.
Newspaper headlines saw her as just clinging on. "She's had her chips", blared The Sun.
Despite May's business-as-usual tone, some senior Conservative figures were openly questioning how long she could remain as party leader.
Theresa May's Conservative Party has lost its parliamentary majority in Thursday's elections, a surprise outcome that plunges the United Kingdom into political instability and casts new doubt on the country's plans to leave the European Union.
The result has caused a fresh bout of selling of the British pound, and made European Union leaders still more uncertain about Britain's Brexit priorities. May has said her government will go ahead with these discussions as planned.
May has said Brexit talks will begin on June 19 as scheduled, the same day as the formal reopening of parliament.
Commentators had suggested that turnout, particularly among young people, would be key to the result, with Labour benefiting from a high turnout, especially of youth inspired by Corbyn's campaign, centred around the idea of "For the Many Not the Few", against the Conservatives' "strong and stable" emphasis.
The win took Labour's tally to 262 MPs as Jeremy Corbyn's party soared to a 40% share of the popular vote.
Corbyn's rise is one of the biggest surprises.
Sporting a colorful Jeremy Corbyn T-shirt, Kalmbacher didn't have a vote in Thursday's election. After all, they have just tried to do so, and failed.
Chief EU negotiator Michel Barnier tweeted that "negotiations should start when U.K.is ready".
The DUP, the largest unionist party in Northern Ireland raised its number of seats to 10 from eight.
But there is speculation she may now be forced to soften her approach, which had included a threat to walk away without a new trade deal in place.
Chancellor Philip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Home Secretary Amber Rudd, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and Brexit Secretary David Davis have all been kept on in their roles.
It is May, not Corbyn, whose career appears to be in tatters.
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