For four long and hard years, Shane Rattenbury served as the only Green in the Legislative Assembly.
He served an important role, the sole member of the crossbench after the 2012 election and the deciding vote on which party would form government.
But it was a lonely one.
Fast forward eight years, and the Greens will snare six seats.
Rattenbury, the party's leader, says the result was at the upper limit of expectations going into the election.
And with increased seats comes increased negotiating power.
Now the pressure is on to deliver their ambitious suite of election pledges.
To corflute or not to corflute?
First-time Greens campaign manager Clancy Barnard says the party's success comes down to talking to ordinary Canberrans.
They didn't have polling or research, but made the most of almost 500 volunteers they had out on the ground.
What came through was a clear message.
"We were hearing they wanted government policy to look after everyone, a better Canberra for everyone," Barnard says .
"Let's look at things that benefit the community, not individual hip pockets."
This strategy contrasted starkly with the Liberal campaign, which focused on the cost of living and saving individual households money.
Many have since viewed this as a strategic misstep, with people more invested in collective goals due to the coronavirus pandemic and the bushfire crisis.
The Liberals had a disciplined message, but it was the wrong message, and the wrong time.
The Greens made a conscious decision not to use roadside corflutes to advertise their campaign or candidates.
It was a move that made some in the party nervous, worried it would put the candidates at a disadvantage.
But in reality they had no option. To use them would have been viewed as hypocritical.
Now-retired Greens MLA Caroline Le Couteur had campaigned against them during the last term of government, saying they were visual pollution which cluttered public space.
"We had members feeling like maybe we weren't competing enough," Rattenbury says.
"We stuck with it ... but we're glad the absence of corflutes didn't end up being an impediment to winning seats."
What's most pleasing for Rattenbury is the Greens have made inroads across all of Canberra.
They have won suburban seats in Gungahlin, Belconnen, Woden, and Tuggeranong.
It's a satisfying reply to those who claim the party is of no relevance to ordinary people beyond their heartland of the inner north.
A Greens-Labor coalition model
The Greens and Labor definitely do not always get along. But the relationship between the two parties in the ACT is starkly different to that in other jurisdictions.
Much of this comes down to necessity - the Hare-Clark model makes it difficult for a party to form majority government, so Labor has had no choice but to play nice.
Some would prefer to see the Greens take an active role on the crossbench, instead of rarely voting against Labor.
But Rattenbury has come to believe they can have more of a say in public policy by being part of cabinet.
Chief Minister Andrew Barr says he's built a strong relationship with Rattenbury, based on mutual respect and understanding.
He says while Labor doesn't like losing seats to the minor party, it doesn't feel threatened by the Greens' presence in the Assembly.
While the Greens will take up 25 per cent of seats, their primary vote sits on about 13.5 per cent.
Barr points out Labor preferences were critical to the Greens' strong performance.
But it goes both ways, he says, pointing out a number of the fifth seats Labor won in past elections were thanks to Greens preferences.
"This time around, five of the six ... would have been elected on Labor preferences," Barr says.
"Clearly the last seat in each electorate is always marginal and highly contested.
"In this instance, the Greens have been the beneficiary this election, in future elections it could swing back the other way."
Rattenbury acknowledges that the party, while gaining a 3 per cent swing towards it, has also had a little bit of luck.
"It is the nature of the Hare-Clark system, and as we're seeing with the counts this week, those margins are very fine," he says.
"On previous elections, we've fallen on the unlucky side of the vote where we've had a higher vote but a smaller proportion of seats.
"This time around, through the way the numbers have fallen, we are slightly above proportion.
"It's nice to fall on the good side of that line for once."
Pressure to deliver
The Greens are set to triple their presence in the Assembly, from two to six.
With extra power comes extra responsibility, which the party is acutely aware of.
Some of the pledges, like an early transition from gas and a light rail express line, were baulked at by Labor.
But people will be expecting them to get things done.
"We already felt that this week," Rattenbury says.
"But we will do our best to deliver.
"We have been given a real opportunity by the Canberra community to play a larger role, and we do feel responsibility, but we are also very excited."
Across the campaign, the party focused on housing, homelessness, planning and climate change. Negotiations with Labor about what a Labor-Greens government will look like are ongoing, but Rattenbury says policies in these areas will be key.
The Greens vote in Canberra has not risen in a linear fashion over the past 15 years.
This will be front of mind throughout the term.
In 2008, the party won almost 16 per cent of the vote and claimed four seats (the Assembly then only had 17 seats in total).
However their hold was short-lived, with Rattenbury the only remaining Green after the 2012 election.
Barnard says delivering on what the party promised will be key to keeping them a force in the chamber beyond this term.
"We will stay grassroots and connected to the community," he says.