Fewer than 24 hours before the polling booths closed, Malcolm Turnbull lauded Canberra's light-rail network.
That's right: the night before what was supposedly a referendum on whether this city should go ahead and build it, the Prime Minister told an urban-design awards ceremony that the rail plan was one of a handful of projects that would "enhance our cities' built environments ... and leave a lasting legacy for future generations".
It was likely nothing more than a political oversight.
But it was a poor omen, to say the least, for the local Liberals, when the leader of their federal parliamentary party didn't even bother to avoid scuppering their main campaign line ("billion$ on tram$").
The light rail did affect this election – just not in the way the Liberals had hoped.
We can see that in the stark, political divide that now separates this city: the north (which will benefit more from rail) voted very differently from the south (which won't benefit so much). They always differed, yet not this much.
The average Canberran clearly isn't opposed enough to light rail to change their vote.
And maybe, just maybe, they actually want it. After all, it's been discussed ad nauseum for 30 years. (And remember the 2012 election? Wasn't that meant to be the light-rail referendum, too?)
It's long been said that Canberrans – while educated, civic-minded and generally represented well among the ranks of Australia's political groupies – can't muster any interest in the goings-on of their Legislative Assembly.
Internal party polling on boths sides tends to confirm this: most ACT residents simply don't know who represents them, barr a handful of MLAs.
Perhaps this is why Labor fared well on Saturday, against expectations.
Andrew Barr's government is guilty of many small flaws: failures to act with probity, and not bothering to explain its decisions or bring the people with it. But that arrogance and lack of transparency likely goes unnoticed to most voters.
Or perhaps Labor fared well on Saturday because Canberrans want more than a whingeing opposition that opposes, well, most things and offers a scant alternative agenda.
Either way, it's back to the drawing board for both sides.
The Liberals, with many new faces, will start from scratch. And Barr gets a second chance to be the Chief Minister this city deserves.