Like her or loathe her, Arlene Foster has had an uncanny ability to survive the minefield of Stormont politics.

Whether it’s the Cash for Ash scandal that threatened her leadership in 2016, or the prolonged shut down of Stormont due to a stalemate in talks with Sinn Féin, Arlene Foster knows controversy like few others and doesn’t seem to blink.

The latest push to oust her from leading the party won’t faze her too much either, even if it ultimately spells the end of her time in power.

There’s something much more raw about northern politics in general, given the bitterness and blood stains that exist on both sides of the Sinn Féin/DUP divide.

Maybe it’s simply because of the hurts, violence and wrangling that the six counties, or Northern Ireland if you like, maintain a more visceral approach to politicking, making leadership contests seem banal compared to the real drama on the streets.

We’re used to the hard ball they play, and it also puts episodes in other jurisdictions in some perspective.

Whereas the president of the European Commission this week chose to play the misogyny card, claiming she was deliberately victimised as a woman when a colleague took the seat she felt entitled to, you won’t see northern politicians of any mettle attempting such petty spin.

They might like to manage their PR, but most of them haven’t succumbed to modern identity politics because there are far bigger issues at stake, such as the possibility of reunification on an island long fought over.

And now Foster, who was only a little girl when she saw her policeman father slunk on the floor after being shot in the head, must face down half of her MPs and over three quarters of the party’s MLAs who have reportedly signed a letter of no-confidence in the Fermanagh woman.

The unrest comes as the reality of the Northern Ireland Protocol hits home in unionist circles, causing not only riots on the streets, but frustration with Foster because of her initial support for having one foot in both the UK and EU markets.

Edwin Poots, the Agriculture Minister from Lisburn, is being tipped to contest her leadership, as hardline loyalists scramble for the champion they need when such fears about the union manifest.

It might be true that the demographic hold of unionism on northern politics is slipping, but a majority of Northern Ireland would still vote to remain in the UK according to the latest polls.

That could all change however if economic woes ensue in the post-Brexit years to come.

And so the DUP leadership contest does resemble something of a bearpit, with competing factions vying for the levers of power that will decide just how hardline loyalist politics will be in the coming years.

There will be no cries of misogyny from Foster or sympathy from any erstwhile feminist commentators as she goes into combat however.

Those in the south and in Britain who despise Arlene Foster might find out the hard way that the devil you know is often better than the devil you don’t.