Another Queen’s Birthday long weekend, another NSW Labor state conference – and the reduction of union representation seems to have done nothing to challenge the dominance of the Right.

The ballots for general secretary and state organiser were won by the Right on a margin of roughly 63%, up two on the last party officer elections.

Senior party figures expected the Right’s vote to decrease to around 59%, but the increased representation of Centre Unity, the rebadged Right, among the rank and file suggests a weakening of the Left. Indeed, the conference was noteworthy for its lack of any serious factional conflict.

The only serious sparks flew when Left Assistant Secretary Luke Foley accused MLC Eric Roozendaal of branch-stacking in Bondi and threatened Coogee MP Paul Pearce. Alan Ramsey gave Foley’s criticism of the party a fantastic plug over the weekend, but Roozendaal batted away the accusations, labelling Foley an “angry young man” embittered by past experiences.

The debate was won when Right Assistant Secretary Karl Bitar, ever the pol, calmly revealed that only 27 members had joined the Bondi Branch in the past five years. Party rules allow four members to join a branch at any one meeting.

What does the weekend mean for the NSW Left? One former candidate was overheard to remark that the Left seemed to be weakening under Foley’s influence, that the ideological focus of his predecessor was more effective than Foley’s “angry” façade.

The status quo looks set to continue.