The opposite happened as she lost her majority and undermined her own authority as prime minister.
Theresa May insisted she would "reflect" on taking the party forward, but was putting the national interest first by forming a government. Labour had won 261 seats.
But asked if Mrs May could remain as Tory leader, Ms Soubry told the BBC: "She's a remarkable and very talented woman and she doesn't shy away from hard decisions, but she now has to obviously consider her position". Just after noon, she was driven the short distance from Downing Street to Buckingham Palace to ask Queen Elizabeth for permission to form a government - a formality under the British system.
Her office said later that the key finance, foreign, Brexit, interior and defense ministers would remain unchanged.
The exit poll predicted the Conservatives, traditionally favoured by markets as pro-business and fiscally prudent, would win 314 seats in the 650-member parliament and the opposition Labour Party 266, meaning no clear victor and a "hung parliament".
May had spent the campaign denouncing Corbyn as the weak leader of a spendthrift party that would crash Britain's economy and flounder in Brexit talks, while she would provide "strong and stable leadership" to clinch a good deal for Britain.
Instead, she risks an ignominious exit after just 11 months at Number 10 Downing Street, which would be the shortest tenure of any prime minister for nearly a century.
Business, already struggling with the uncertainties of the two-year Brexit negotiating process, urged party leaders to work together.
Brexit Secretary David Davis said he would "fight tooth and nail" to keep Mrs May in post, and dismissed suggestions he might be a contender to replace her.
European Union states are getting impatient about the delays in the Brexit talks, with some warning Friday after Britain's inconclusive election that the country should not be given more than the allotted two years to settle its divorce.
European Union leaders expressed fear that Theresa's shock loss of her majority would delay the Brexit talks, due to begin on June 19, and so raise the risk of negotiations failing.
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When pressed on the matter, Trump said: "Well, I'll tell you about that maybe sometime in the very near future". Mr Comey told the Senate committee that he felt he needed to get this information "out into the public square".
EU Council President Donald Tusk told Britain in a Tweet: "Do your best to avoid a "no deal" as result of "no negotiations".
"We need a government that can act", EU Budget Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told German broadcaster Deutschlandfunk.
There was little sympathy for May from some Europeans.
"I hope the United Kingdom will soon have a stable government to start negotiations", he told The Associated Press. The result ended his career and shocked Europe.
"The initial exit poll. was a shock, so there was a sharp fall", said a trader with one Japanese bank in Singapore.
"We don't know when Brexit talks start".
Labour's Corbyn, reveling in a storming campaign performance after pundits had pronounced his party all but dead, said May should step down and that he wanted to form a minority government.
"The mandate she's got is lost Conservative seats, lost votes, lost support and lost confidence", he said.
Under fire after calling the snap election and then losing her majority, May said she would get on with the job of governing and would select her new cabinet of ministers shortly.
The Prime Minister's situation appeared precarious as Conservative former minister Anna Soubry said she should "consider her position" and take personal responsibility for a "dreadful" campaign and a "deeply flawed" manifesto after choosing to go to the country three years early in the hope of extending her majority.
In the late stages of the campaign, Britain was hit by two Islamist militant attacks in less than two weeks that killed 30 people in Manchester and London, temporarily shifting the focus onto security issues.
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