A DUP friend texted me on Thursday morning, wondering if I thought Arlene Foster had reached what he wonderfully described as the "David Trimble Tipping Point Moment".
It's a question which former UUP member Foster would understand, because she had previously been one of the party members suggesting that he stand aside for the sake and unity of the party.
Had he stepped down in the spring/early summer of 2003 (he hung on for another two years) it is possible that Jeffrey Donaldson would have replaced him and a generation of younger party members, including Foster, would have stayed in the UUP and probably deprived the DUP of its top-dog role.
There have been three moments during her time as leader when Foster has had real problems internally. The outcome of the 2017 Assembly election - which saw unionism lose its overall majority for the first time since 1921 and the DUP nudging just 1,200 votes and one seat ahead of Sinn Fein - led to stirrings of discontent and low-level mutterings about her leadership.
The mutterings only stopped when the DUP unexpectedly landed a king-maker role in the aftermath of the general election a few months later, followed by the confidence and supply agreement with the Conservatives. It saved her, yet also stored up new problems further down the line.
In February 2018, when it looked as though the DUP had conceded an Irish Language Act in return for a rebooted Assembly (the Prime Minister and Taoiseach were pencilled in for a visit to Stormont), Foster was sent a very loud, unambiguous message by her Assembly backbenchers and key players across the party. No room for manoeuvre was offered to her. Any deal involving the Irish language was off the table.
Again, there were more murmurings of discontent, with two DUP MLAs telling me that Peter Robinson would never have permitted "such a mess".
Indeed, a few months later Robinson gave a public lecture in which he argued leadership requires taking control of a policy and persuading your party of its merits. Foster was sitting a few feet away from him as he made what was widely interpreted as severe criticism of her style and tactics.
Her third moment of crisis came in the autumn of 2019 when Boris Johnson and the entire European Reform Group within the parliamentary Conservative Party - in whom Foster had placed so much confidence - betrayed (there really is no other word) her over the Withdrawal Agreement.
A few weeks later Nigel Dodds and Emma Pengelly lost their Westminster seats and North Down fell to Alliance. There was a great deal of restlessness across unionism, with many senior figures within the various parties voicing their concerns about the existential threat facing the Union "under Foster's watch".
At each of those three moments of crisis Foster survived the internal criticism. She had also weathered what amounted to a possible coup against her by a group including some MPs and MLAs.
I wasn't the only commentator or journalist who was briefed of growing internal discontent with her and the "serial damage she is doing to unionism". In the end, of course, nobody lifted or wielded the dagger.
Possibly because the plotters weren't assured of a victory, or more likely because even those critical of her didn't really want to deal with the whopping ramifications of a leadership challenge in the middle of the other crises in 2017/18/19.
But one thing is clear: Foster's currency was already seriously devalued before this latest crisis. Worse, this is a very public crisis. MLAs and MPs - from across all wings of the party - are not hiding or briefing anonymously.
Fair enough it was never likely she would have been defeated in Tuesday's vote, yet that makes it all the more embarrassing and extraordinary that 11 of her MLAs should have chosen to defy her personal wishes and the party whip and abstain on an issue in which she has set so much store. Two other MLAs didn't even turn up. The DUP has 27 MLAS and 13 of them - just shy of 50% - didn't support their leader.
Even more extraordinarily they demonstrated a clear preference for the opinion of a former Spad (Richard Bullick - who served both Foster and Peter Robinson) over Foster's own team of advisers and legal experts.
They were also more swayed by the arguments of Jim Allister and the UUP's Doug Beattie than by Foster's assurances and reassurances. Had one more DUP MLA stayed away or abstained in person it might well have emboldened someone to finally lift the dagger and indicate a willingness to use it. They still might.
Foster knows she cannot take for granted continuing majority support within her parliamentary or Assembly representatives.
She will know how quickly and brutally Ian Paisley was toppled in 2008. She will know the huge level of pressure exerted on Peter Robinson to stand down or risk a similar fate in 2015. She will know how quickly and unexpectedly the dynamics around her have shifted.
Crucially, she also knows the advice she would have given David Trimble were he in her shoes right now.
All of which raises the obvious question: who would wield the dagger? The most obvious contenders are Nigel Dodds, Edwin Poots and Jeffrey Donaldson. Dodds and Poots are probably the easier choices, if only in the sense that Poots is already an MLA and Dodds could easily be found a seat without the need for a by-election.
Donaldson would be required to stand down as an MP, which then requires a by-election to replace him (and he would also need an Assembly seat, of course). Lagan Valley should be an easy enough hold for the DUP, although what happened in North Down in December 2019 means that it is no longer bankable.
I don't get the sense that Foster thinks she needs to go. Ironically, it's a quality of defiance she shares with Trimble. But she needs to be aware that her problems are very similar to his between 2003-5, when he dithered and clung to the wreckage while internal support withered and key allies stopped surrounding him when he went to the microphones to explain his latest dilemma.
It was also interesting yesterday to hear Foster using the same defence she used to criticise him for: "I don't see it as a threat to my leadership when people express opinions. I welcome that actually... (anyway) my colleagues abstained, they did not vote against the bill." I remember her in the UUP laughing at that kind of defence.
On Tuesday my hunch was that she was probably safe enough and would likely survive (even though she still deployed allies like Peter Weir and Poots to insist she was safe). Today, though, I'm beginning to think that this really is one crisis too many: the David Trimble Tipping Point Moment, if you like.