The DUP last night (Friday) challenged Jim Allister and his 'Traditional Unionist Voice' movement to a test of support at the ballot box.
Yesterday the MEP, who earlier this year quit the party after it decided to share power with Sinn Féin, announced the formation of the new movement.
Mr Allister has made it clear his aim is to mobilise those unionist voters who feel disenfranchised.
He said that tens of thousands of unionists feel sickened and deflated by the spectacle of Sinn Féin at the heart of government.
At this stage Mr Allister has no plans to turn his movement into a political party and fight elections, although that could happen in the future.
DUP sources however told The Irish News that the party would relish taking on Mr Allister and his movement at the ballot box and questioned why he would not agree for example to call some by-elections as a test of electoral support.
According to DUP sources they acknowledge that there will always be a section of unionists who would not countenance going into government with Sinn Féin whatever the circumstances.
But the feeling within the DUP is that Mr Allister's grouping will go the same way as Robert McCartney's UK Unionist Party.
In the 2007 assembly election Mr McCartney stood on an anti-agreement ticket in six different constituencies but failed to get elected.