"You may remember that Margaret Thatcher. said: 'We fight on, we fight to win.' Nobody was tougher than Mrs Thatcher and the next day she resigned".
There had been chatter of something like 231-86, which would have been a number that might have strengthened her hand.
Her decision to defer the vote sparked a new wave of letters of no confidence which pushed the total beyond the threshold of 48 needed to trigger a ballot.
She has promised to hold that vote by January 21 - when she may yet still lose, plunging the Brexit process into fresh crisis.
Cable isn't thrilled, dropping to 1.2610 from 1.2640 after a brief jump to 1.2670.
"I think then what will and should happen is the Europeans will go off and have elections [.] and we will then have a proper Conservative leadership election, for a post-Brexit withdrawal, new generation Conservative who can reunite this party, this country".
Theresa May constrained her options by setting out ridiculous red lines at the outset of negotiations, purely to appease the hard-right fanatics in her party. She breached most of her own red lines when clashed with reality, and by doing so, alienated even more of her own MPs.
The next big question is whether Labour will try to trigger an election with the help of the DUP and perhaps some of those dissenting Conservative votes.
Britain is to have talks with the European Union over the coming days about how to obtain "further assurances" which might persuade MPs to back the Withdrawal Agreement, Mrs May later said. It was a rare chink in the armour of a prime minister praised by her supporters as resilient but accused by her critics of ploughing on oblivious to the changing circumstances around her. "But we can clarify and reassure", French President Emmanuel Macron said.
She added: "I think the people in Islington will want assurances that [if they can't force an election} Labour will prioritise calling for a People's Vote and not dither".
Opposition to the deal in Britain is focused on a so-called "backstop" arrangement created to keep the border with Ireland open unless and until a new UK-EU trade deal is signed.
Last night, the Conservative party declared that she had survived by 200 votes to 117.
Hardline Brexiters have argued that the risk of a "no deal" exit - which would be devastating for the United Kingdom economy and British infrastructure, but would also damage the European Union - would compel Brussels to compromise, but European Union leaders don't appear ready to blink.
"The prime minister should reinstate the vote on her deal next week and let Parliament take back control", he said.
After the victory the Prime Minister said that the main goal of his Premiership, is to "ensure the implementation of Brexit for which the people voted to again unite and build a country that works for everyone". "After the apocalypse, all that will be left will be ants and Tory MPs complaining about Europe and their leader". The E.U. will begin intensifying preparations for a no-deal Brexit, as no other deal is in the works. "There is no end date for the backstop", one European source told AFP.
But Conservative Remainer Sarah Wollaston, argued that replacing Mrs May with one of the Brexiteers' favourites would not enable the ERG to get their version of Brexit through the Commons.