Other names from the ruling Conversative party were also put forward, including Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. At the time, she had a 20-point lead in the polls. Once again, voters have sprung a surprise. However, no party received the absolute majority of seats in parliament and the election has resulted in a hung parliament.
May's statement on working with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) followed a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace, where she asked the monarch for permission to form a new government. The country has been plunged into greater uncertainty.
Corbyn and Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron criticised May for not resigning after not only failing to achieve her intended large mandate but also failing to retain the number of seats the party had in the last parliament: 331.
Multiple people in May's oppositional parties - the Labour Party and the Liberal Democrats - urged May to quit.
One of the main Leave campaigners during the UK's 2016 Brexit campaign, Johnson was widely expected to stand for the leadership of the Conservative Party, and the prime ministership, after former United Kingdom leader David Cameron resigned. Speaking Friday on Europe 1 radio, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said he doesn't believe British voters have changed their minds about leaving the bloc.
Former Tory MP Matthew Parris dubbed it "the revenge of the young on the older generation" for last year's Brexit vote. There are deep divisions between those who wish to leave the European Union and those who want to stay - and they cut across party lines. Given the election arithmetic, Labour would struggle to get the numbers to form a coalition government. The hung parliament and impending political crisis, which has seen the pound plunge in trading, comes less than two weeks before Brexit negotiations are scheduled to begin.
The result is important not only for Britain but around the world.
The unhappy result of these conditions is that it will be hard to create a strong negotiating position on Brexit, and British negotiators will be left groping for solid political ground on which to take a stand.
As the election results arrived, the revelation was picked up by social media.