The Alliance Party is dead, long live the ... well, a new centre party run by moderate Catholics for the North.
In spite of all the gains made since its formation in 1970, Alliance will finally be killed off by the Union flag debacle.
It has only one route to guarantee its survival on the Northern political map – merge with Big Al's Stoops to become the new centre, Catholic-run movement with a few lapdog liberal Unionists like Basil McCrea and wee Jonny McCallister tagging along.
And I always believed it was just the Ulster Unionist Party which could snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
But step forward Alliance as the best example of a party which had it all made, and then pressed the self-destruct button.
In attempting to move the North forward on symbols and emblems, Alliance sowed the seeds of its own demise with its lunatic decision to snuggle up to the Stoops and Shinners on Belfast City Council.
Alliance can tub-thump all its wants about being a non-sectarian party. It was viewed as a 'small u' unionist party.
The majority of its elected representatives got their seats from transfers from the main unionist parties, especially the DUP and UUP, who voted Alliance to keep nationalists and republicans out.
While unionists will publicly condemn the attacks and threats on Alliance offices and politicians, privately many, many unionists will never transfer again to Alliance.
The majority of middle class unionists are moderate to people's faces, yet once inside the polling booth, they remember they are loyal Prods first.
How else could the DUP and Paisley senior as well as his legions of fundamentalist Free Presbyterians have succeeded in politics over the generations?
Perhaps Alliance recognised the growing apathy among unionist voters and decided to rebrand itself as a 'small n' nationalist party, in the hope it could attract most of its much-needed transfers from the rapidly dwindling Stoops or the new-look Shinners with their arsenals of honours degrees rather than armalites.
Clearly the Belfast policy of 'Suck Up To Shinners and Stoops' has back-fired fatally on Alliance. Will Alliance have the balls to contest the Mid Ulster Commons by-election?
More importantly, with the divisions and feuds in unionism and loyalism, does Alliance have any chance of sneaking Jim Nicholson's UUP European seat next year, or will it face an electoral meltdown? The latter is now on the cards.
Britain is slowly drifting back to a two-party system of Labour and the Tories, with Nick Clegg's Liberals on the way to fringe status.
If the peace process holds, that two-party system will be mirrored in the North – Sinn Féin and the DUP, with Alliance going the same way as the SDLP and UUP, which is into the dustbin of electoral history.
Any right-thinking Protestant unionist will give Alliance the two-fingered salute in future elections. So Alliance must find new hunting grounds to survive, and the electorally lucrative Catholic middle class makes the perfect polling prey.
And as Sinn Féin steadily waters down the influence of ex-IRA jailbirds in its ranks, perhaps Alliance should consider the unthinkable – rebranding itself as a 'small r' republican party capable of attracting significant working class Catholic voters.
After all, about 80 percent of Catholic working class voters go to the polls, compared to around 30 percent in loyalist communities.
If you want to live electorally David Ford, Alliance must transform itself into the Fianna Fáil of Northern politics and become the new Soft Republican Movement.