One of the key skills for any politician hoping to advance their career is knowing when to be on the winning side.
This can relate to leadership contests, referendum campaigns or even internal party debates on policy.
If you want to go places, you should be photographed with the winning team when a victory is achieved.
Many a politician has wilted away on the backbenches after backing the wrong candidate in a leadership election.
Others have misread the public mood or focused too much on the views of their local party members and weighed in behind the wrong side in a referendum campaign, only to be tarred with the image of being a less than forward-thinking politician.
Although, in some cases, it is a benefit to be on the losing side if your vote base is that way inclined.
Catherine Martin is a shrewd political operator, we are led to believe.
So her decision to come out in favour of the programme for government is a good indicator of how the Green Party membership will vote on the deal with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael.
Martin knows she would be damaged by voting against a deal which is ultimately passed by her party.
Failing to read the mood of your own party weeks away from taking part in a leadership contest would not be an ill-conceived political manoeuvre.
Martin didn't give the agreement a free pass during her contribution at the Greens' special convention on the deal.
She was careful to note that her party did not get everything it wanted, but who does during a negotiation?
She was also very clear in her scepticism of going into government with the two parties who have dominated Irish politics for the best part of a century.
She insisted there will be reviews of the programme for government every two months - even though this has not been agreed by the parties - to let her supporters know she will not let Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael trample all over the Greens in government.
But she also said the deal she negotiated was the best achievable under the unique circumstances the country is facing, and then firmly said she will be voting in favour of entering into government.
The fact that two-thirds of the speakers at the conference spoke in favour of the deal was also a good indication of what the final result might be.
But Martin's decision to back the deal suggests she has listened to her members and realised the vote was only going in one direction.
The last thing she wants to do is vote against a winning proposal which is popular among potential supporters in the leadership contest.
However, it is interesting that some of Martin's internal supporters have chosen to vote against the deal.
Noel Francis Duffy, Martin's husband, Neasa Hourigan, a Green Party negotiator, and Patrick Costello all forcefully rejected the deal.
It is noteworthy that all three will be in dogfights with Sinn Féin and left-wing TDs in the next general election and will not want to be seen as too cosy with the two Civil War parties over the coming years.
They are also providing a certain amount of political cover for the Green Party deputy leader, who could argue she had no choice but to vote for the deal since she was centrally involved in the parties' negotiations.
In some ways, she has the best of both worlds when it comes to the programme for government.
The leadership contest begins almost immediately after a new government is elected, which all going according to plan will be next weekend.
At this point Catherine Martin will be a cabinet minister seeking to implement a programme she negotiated and supported.
It is unlikely her supporters will be appointed to cabinet, although Hourigan may get a super junior cabinet portfolio.
However, this leaves them more time to shore support for her among disgruntled members when the leadership campaign officially begins.