Support for the DUP has declined dramatically with less than one in five voters now saying they back the party as hardline unionists flock to Jim Allister's TUV.
oncerns over the new Irish Sea border have seen DUP support fall to 19% - the lowest in two decades. On 18%, Alliance is breathing down its neck to challenge for the position of Northern Ireland's second largest party.
A LucidTalk poll for the Belfast Telegraph indicates that Michelle O'Neill could be on course to become the next First Minister, with Sinn Fein significantly out in front on 24%, and the DUP potentially losing vital Assembly seats.
The results will intensify pressure on Arlene Foster's leadership and make her MLAs increasingly nervous as one in 10 voters now back Jim Allister's party.
Support for the SDLP (13%) and Ulster Unionists (12%) remains unchanged as Colum Eastwood and Steve Aiken have been unable to capitalise despite extensive criticism of how Stormont's big two' have handled the pandemic.
The DUP's decline is significant as it plummets from the 31% it secured in the Westminster election just over a year ago, and the 28% it won the 2017 Assembly poll. The party has also shed support since our last survey three months ago when it sat on 23%.
The TUV is the biggest winner in the online poll of 2,295 people which was conducted from January 22-25. The sample was weighted to reflect the Northern Ireland population.
Support for Mr Allister's party has quadrupled since the last Assembly election. On 10%, it could win up to half a dozen seats if the pattern was replicated in the May 2022 Stormont poll.
In party leaders' ratings, both Mrs Foster and Ms O'Neill polled poorly with less than one in four people saying they were doing a good or great job and more than half describing their performance as bad or awful.
The First Minister has lost some of the positivity she secured from nationalists in our October poll, although she still does markedly better in that community than the Deputy First Minister does among unionists.
Ms O'Neill secured an overall -33 score while Mrs Foster was on -30. But both women were surpassed by Secretary of State Brandon Lewis on -69. Almost three-quarters of voters thought he was doing a bad or awful job.
LucidTalk's managing director Bill White said: "The DUP has lost 40% of its vote from the 2017 election. Of course, they could win some, or all, of that back before the next Assembly election.
"Hardcore DUP voters could be just firing a shot across Arlene Foster's bows and letting off steam.
"The DUP may think that it will win this support back by using its favourite line 'You must vote for us to stop a Sinn Fein First Minister.'
"But there is some evidence that this sort of line is beginning to wear thin."
Alliance has doubled its support since 2017 when it won 9% of the vote. A quarter of those who voted SDLP in that election, now say they would back Naomi Long's party in a Stormont poll - and 12% of UUP voters say the same thing. One in four 2017 DUP voters would opt for the TUV.
A total of 54% of people thought Mrs Foster was doing a bad or awful job as First Minister - 64% of nationalists; 60% of those who vote Alliance or Green; and 46% of unionists.
Slightly more people, 56%, rate Ms O'Neill just as poorly - 83% of unionists; 53% of Alliance/Green supporters; and 30% of nationalists.
Ratings for Naomi Long and Colum Eastwood were significantly better, but both have still fallen since our October poll.