When Victorian political coverage focuses on what did or didn’t happen five years ago between consenting adults in an Adelaide golf club car park, you know it’s been a quiet weekend at Spring Street.

While Saturday’s conference of the Victorian ALP received only scant coverage in the serious organs of state debate, and didn’t feature anything like the drama of last weekend’s NSW version, a spate of mini-wins for the Left and non-aligned against the divided Right mirrored the new factional dynamic evolving north of the border.

Senior sources have interpreted Saturday’s conference in the same manner as their NSW colleagues, with one left faction chief commenting yesterday that the divided Right was “uninterested in anything other than ballots.” The undeniable trend is the emergence of an electorally focused consensus faction, with new state secretary Nick Reece sliding in behind the new majority.

Reece looked like a genius in his opening address on Saturday, simply by plucking the low-hanging fruit neglected for years by his predecessor Stephen Newnham. But the ex-AFR journo’s one-year secondment to get his old boss John Brumby over the line looks like being an exercise in studied irrelevance, with Brumby sitting on a Rudd-like rating of 56% as preferred Premier.

Reece’s ridiculous claims on Friday’s Stateline that Brumby would need to “climb Mount Everest” to secure re-election, completely ignores the fact that Ted Baillieu’s political corpse is rapidly mummifying at an abandoned base camp way below sea level. A quick glance as yesterday’s Saulwick poll suggests the prospect of Brumby snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is close to zero.

With the main game of full-spectrum political dominance seemingly taken care of, it was left to a suite of Left-dominated fringe groups to have their say, with Rainbow Labor and the Labor Environment Action Network arcing up and securing muted coverage for their barrow-pushing.

The Rainbow Labor resolution in support of gay marriage received widespread backing, with right-winger Steve Staikos seconding with support from the Socialist Left’s candidate for Brunswick Jane Garrett. By contrast, an urgency motion by the timber workers division of the CFMEU to water down green building regulations didn’t even get to a vote.

The Independents Faction, who had re-entered the branch-stacking debate last Monday, continued to bleat about the omissions in the cross-factional report on the issue, with titular head John Lannan on hand to deliver some quotes to an embedded AAP reporter. Unfortunately, the Independents only snared four votes in support of its position, with a large number of their own apparently remaining mute.

“They completely misread the room”, one senior factional source told Crikey this morning.

But the real action on Saturday was found at the lunchtime Fringe debates. One session mulling whether politicians or journalists were “more out of touch”, featuring The Australian‘s departing roundsman Rick Wallace, AFR multitasker Mat Dunckley and pollies John Lenders and Brian Tee was won predictably by the politicians on the voices. Wallace’s argument that Justin Madden’s recent sledge on McMansions meant he’d rejected mainstream values had delegates rolling in aisles when it was pointed out that the former footballer’s eyes and ears on the ground belonged, until he was sacked, to Hakki Suleyman, who was nowhere to be seen on Saturday.