LucidTalk's intriguing poll will prompt much concern within the DUP.
Forget officialdom that the First and Deputy First Minister are co-equals. For Arlene Foster to lose the First Ministership of Northern Ireland to Sinn Fein would be a grievous blow.
It would not take much. The DUP's poor performance at the 2017 Assembly election means margins are very slim: a one seat and 1,168 vote lead. The Lucid Talk survey suggests that slender advantage has been reversed.
Caution is needed. I've become bored reading premature political obituaries for Mrs Foster, amid RHI, Brexit betrayal, internal dissent and that 2017 nadir.
The DUP leader's overall electoral record is not bad. It includes the DUP's best-ever Assembly (2016) and general election (2017) performances. The party's 2019 council and European election showings were strong. Only a minority of nationalists and republicans regard Foster's political performance this year as "bad/awful". By Northern Ireland standards of polarisation that is tantamount to adulation.
The DUP will hope this polling evidence boosts a "vote for us to stop Sinn Fein" appeal.
The UUP vote looks static, despite the prominence of the party's Robin Swann as Health Minister. Yet his replacement by Van Morrison looks more likely than the UUP making inroads into the DUP's lead within unionism.
Steve Aiken "celebrates" his first year as UUP leader next month but the largest verdict on his tenure is "don't know".
That is not disastrous and an improvement on previous disorderly management of decline scenarios, but will not close the gap on the DUP.
Ironically, the poll shows Arlene Foster's crown might slip even as Sinn Fein's support declines. Backing for the "big two" has fallen.
Sinn Fein is projected to lose four percentage points and the DUP five from the last Assembly election.
At the 2019 general election, the DUP vote fell by five points and Sinn Fein's by six. Both parties down by similar amounts: an equality agenda of sorts.
Amid Sinn Fein's euphoria at the Nigel Dodds scalp in North Belfast last December, the party's vote share fell in the 14 other constituencies it contested.
Meanwhile, the DUP lost ground in 16 of 17 seats.
But in the horserace, all that matters is who wins, whether the horse canters home or clinches a photo finish. Without her party's support swelling, Michelle O'Neill possibly starts favourite to reel in the long-time leader.
The big vote gainer last year was Alliance and the LucidTalk poll suggests nothing temporary about the surge.
Some thought the progress of Naomi Long's party, enjoying record vote shares, was a one-off perfect storm.
Brexit and the blame upon the DUP and Sinn Fein for the Executive's absence helped Alliance.
Yet Stormont has now been back for nine months and this latest poll still has Alliance almost doubling its 2017 vote.
With several surveys suggesting those declining to identify as unionist or nationalist - dismissed as 'others' - are a majority, Alliance's growth reflects detachment from old traditions.
That poses questions of the arrangements in the Assembly and Executive, framed on the traditional binary.
A DUP election strategist sees deliberate recent targeting by Alliance of pro-Union voters who will not touch Foster's party but eschew nationalism.
That is easier than chasing "soft" nationalists given Colum Eastwood, popular in the poll, has steadied the SDLP.
This reasoning explains Alliance's willingness to reject dual language street signs in Belfast and join the DUP in wanting to host Armed Forces Day.
It is a plausible argument but ultimately Alliance's ability to keep growing rests more on getting self-declared "others" to vote. Half of them do not bother.
"It's only a poll" many will scream, especially those not liking the findings. But LucidTalk's election forecasts bear inspection. Amid Covid and ahead of a looming controversial centenary celebration, the survey reminds us that perhaps the most hotly contested Stormont election ever is not far away.
Jon Tonge is Professor of Politics at the University of Liverpool and Director of the last four ESRC Northern Ireland general election surveys
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