As George Kassimeris explains, the event has been dominated by divisions in the party over Brexit, with many observers predicting this could be May's last conference speech as prime minister.
Her words were aimed at easing the growing frustration of some Conservatives who openly say their party is directionless, unable to set an agenda against the divisive rows over Brexit between competing wings of the party.
DUP Leader Arlene Foster has been at loggerheads with the Irish government in Dáil Éireann over their approach to Brexit.
"We need a strong leader and we haven't got that at the moment", Duddridge said.
Theresa May has ruled out a second referendum saying "we had the people's vote and the people chose to leave".
UK Prime Minister Theresa May has confirmed a post-Brexit clampdown on European Union migrants, saying London will treat European Union citizens the same as those from non-EU countries, while also seeking to reduce the influx of low-skilled migrants.
The government has already promised to protect the rights of more than three million European Union citizens now living in Britain after Brexit, even if there is no divorce deal.
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.
"If we all go off in different directions in pursuit of our own visions of the ideal Brexit, we risk ending up with no Brexit at all", May said in a warning to Johnson and others who aim to oust her or force her to change course.
In her speech later, Mrs May will plead with "decent patriots" to unite behind her today saying Britain's "best days lie ahead".
In any contest, Mrs May would need to secure the backing of half her parliamentary party - 158 MPs - to continue as leader.
So the negotiations with the European Union have ground to a halt, United Kingdom businesses are growing jittery and Conservative Brexiteers like Johnson are demanding that the United Kingdom make a clean break with the bloc - deal or no deal.
It was one of the biggest speeches of her political career.
Many ministers addressing the main stage in Birmingham have turned their sights on leftist leader Jeremy Corbyn, a theme expected to be echoed by May.
Michel Barnier has said customs controls on goods going between Great Britain and Northern Ireland could be kept light touch, through scanning technology and pre-clearance. But she says it is the only way of ensuring there is no customs border created between Ireland and northern Ireland.
The EU has rejected her proposed Brexit deal and demanded new ideas from Britain.
May and her team face weeks of hard conversations with Brussels to win a deal, but she also faces challenges from inside her own party and from her partners in parliament, Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party.
"The ability of people from trading partners to deliver services and student exchange programs will form part of future trade agreements", the prime minister said.