And yet Ms. May has managed to defy the skeptics with a vigorous appeal to the party faithful on Wednesday that has rallied support for her leadership and diffused attacks on her Brexit plan, even though that plan remains widely unpopular and could yet unravel.
She appealed for unity in her party, warning her critics that if they split over their "own visions of the flawless Brexit", they might not get it at all.
A focus will be attempts to come to agreement over customs arrangements on the island of Ireland to prevent the emergence of a "hard border", which inflamed sectarian conflict in the past.
Just six months before Britain leaves on March 29, negotiations with the European Union have ground to a halt and May is caught between Brexiteers like Johnson and those who want to keep close economic ties with the bloc, Britain's biggest trading partner.
But her decision to sing the same tune on Brexit just two weeks before the deadline for a deal has been branded a reckless misstep by on the continent. May to negotiate a trade deal with the EU instead that's based on the Canada-EU agreement.
"But we need to be honest about it. Leaving without a deal - introducing tariffs and costly checks at the border - would be a bad outcome for the United Kingdom and the European Union".
Ms Foster said proposals for a regulatory "border down the Irish Sea" would damage Northern Ireland's economy and harm it "constitutionally", adding that it was a clear red line. But they don't agree on how to achieve that, and the issue remains the biggest obstacle to a Brexit deal.
General strike held in Palestinian territories to protest Jewish nation state law
It speaks of Israel as the historic homeland of the Jews and says they have a "unique" right to self-determination there. Palestinian group Hamas said the strike aims to highlight discrimination against the Palestinians living inside Israel.
Like last year's event - when a prankster presented her with a fake P45 on stage and then she lost her voice - Mrs May has a heavy cold, but aides insist she is up to putting on a show.
I have to congratulate Theresa May on what was in parts a personal and very moving speech at today's Conservative party conference.
In an upbeat message to activists and voters, she declared: "If we come together, there is no limit to what we can achieve". In a major policy shift, May said the government would abandon its long-held policy of slashing public spending in the name of deficit reduction.
"We are entering the toughest phase of the negotiations", May said, drawing firm applause.
"I passionately believe that our best days lie ahead of us and that our future is full of promise", May said.
It was an upbeat end to an anxious Conservative conference in Birmingham, central England.
His language was relatively restrained, with invective reserved for the opposition Labour Party, which he dismissed as "Hugo Chavez-loving, anti-Semitism condoning Kremlin apologists".
Spoiler-Free First Reactions to VENOM
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter , she was open about the economic considerations that saw her accept a role in the blockbuster. He told me what I was doing wrong and I was doing more things wrong than I was doing right because children are deeply honest.
One conservative commentator called it one of her best, though he pointed out that "Brexit will soon take back over" the political conversation. For many Conservatives, whose party is dwindling in numbers and divided over Brexit, he was a tonic. "This has definitely increased my respect for her".
May's team also expects a more detailed response from the European Union to her proposal for a future trade accord within days, the official said.
However the currency's moves were limited and analysts said they saw little in May's speech that was new.
A vote will be triggered if 48 legislators ask for one.
■ On West Midlands mayor Andy Street: 'It is great to be here in Birmingham where so many thoroughfares in the city are already named after our superb Conservative mayor'.
"We need a strong leader and we haven't got that at the moment", Duddridge told the BBC.
Anonymous Team USA Ryder Cup member: Patrick Reed is 'full of (expletive)'
PARIS - The good vibes and feel-good Tiger Woods story did not travel from Atlanta to Paris this week for the Ryder Cup . He surrendered the hole and match after failing to sink his bogey bid from the drop zone with Thomas on the green in two.