In the end, there were only 160 votes in it.
After four short years, Gordon Ramsay - the former Uniting Church minister turned ACT minister, and the driving force behind the ACT's nation-leading child sex abuse and elder abuse reforms - now finds himself packing up his office on the top floor of the ACT Legislative Assembly.
"Politics works in ways that we can't always predict and not the ways that everyone would hope," the former Labor MLA says, hours after it was confirmed he'd lost his seat to newcomer Liberal Peter Cain.
It is not the result Ramsay had hoped for. Before now, he had not even considered life after politics, believing if he turned his mind to the possibly of losing it would detract from his fight to keep his seat.
He's the kind of person who throws his whole self into what he's doing.
As Arts Minister, he played Christmas carols on a jangling piano in Garema Place.
While Seniors Minister, he counselled a 90-year-old woman about how to find help to escape an abusive situation.
And while Attorney-General he wept while tabling a bill to ban gay conversion therapy, thinking about all the people who'd sought refuge in his congregation after enduring the practice.
In his brief time in the Legislative Assembly, Ramsay introduced 51 pieces of legislation. His laws criminalising elder abuse were nation-leading. Other jurisdictions internationally have taken note.
His bill to force all adults to report child sex abuse, even requiring priests to break the confessional seal, has since been emulated by Victoria and Queensland.
A program to help ex-military personnel transition into civilian jobs won a national award (Ramsay was also Minister for Veterans).
And while his work is not finished, his time in politics is done.
"Look, I've had my time here. And it's been a privilege to be here. I'm now looking to see what the next chapter will be. And I'll check with my family about what lies next. But I think I think it's a matter of moving on from here. And we'll see what what's next for Gordon Ramsay," he says.
A shift to federal politics is not on the cards either.
"I think I'll leave the big house to others," he says.
"The values that have driven me for my entire life, remain my values. They are values of inclusion, of building a good, strong society. There are so many different ways that people can do that.
"Politics is a very public way of doing it. But it's certainly not the only way, and to people right across our city already who are working to make a better strong society I thank you, and I'll work alongside you in a different way."
His successor, Liberal Peter Cain, thanked Mr Ramsay on Saturday.
"I commend Gordon Ramsay for his service to the community across decades, most recently as an MLA, and wish him and his family all the best," Mr Cain said.
In a way, Ramsay's exit from the ACT Legislative Assembly mirrored his entry. He edged out Labor colleague and minister Chris Bourke for the final seat in the electorate of Ginninderra.
"It was similar in 2016, when it looked on the night as if I was elected, then looked throughout the middle of the week as if I wasn't going to be - and then right on the Friday and Saturday the last time around, the results turned around again," he says.
"Unfortunately, this year as the numbers finalised, they didn't turn around in the way that I had hoped."
Ramsay has not been as visible a presence this year given the focus on the coronavirus response, even though he played a vital role in it.
Some nights he and his staff were drafting legislation at 3am to ensure officials like the chief health officer had the powers they needed to deal with the crisis.
"it's been a full-on year in terms of the Attorney-General responsibilities, with all of the legislation in relation to COVID-19," he says.
"There's probably been a lot more going on in the office here and across government in relation to that legislation than many people were aware of. Again, that's the reality of the way that life is in politics.
"I simply note that my personal vote increased quite substantially between 2016 and 2020. I'm proud of that."
It's a difficult time, not just for Ramsay but for his family and staff whose futures also hinged on the nail-biting result.
Ramsay is disappointed that his time in the Assembly is over, but pragmatic.
"That's the reality of public life. That's certainly the reality of the Hare-Clark system," he says.
"In government, there's always more work to be done. It's sort of like the man who plants the mango tree for other people to eat the fruit at some stage.
"That's actually what happens with the continuity of government. I've been able to work on things that my predecessor as attorney-general, Simon Corbell, did over a decade. And I've been able to bring some of those into fruition."
Ramsay says he has prepared the ground for changes to the way that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people engage with the criminal justice system.
The roots are there for further reforms in elder abuse, both locally and nationally, too, he says.
Now it's time for someone else to help bring them to fruition.
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