01/25/2012 10:51 EST | Updated 03/26/2012 05:12 EDT

PQ MNAs back Marois at caucus meeting

Parti Québécois leader Pauline Marois was applauded as she arrived at a party caucus meeting in Joliette, Que., Wednesday.

The members will be gathered behind closed doors at the Hôtel Château Joliette Wednesday and Thursday to prepare for the next session of Quebec's national assembly.

PQ MNAs entering the meeting presented a united front behind Marois.

The party has suffered a recent slide in the polls, and several members have defected and joined the upstart Coalition Avenir Quebec. Members also highlighted the importance of this week's meeting, as it could be the last before Premier Jean Charest calls a provincial election.

PQ MNA Marie Malavoy said that if the Liberals win another election, the PQ would make a much more effective opposition than the increasingly popular CAQ and its leader François Legault.

"I dont know exactly what his group is going to defend, what kind of ideas he will propose, but I know we can do that. We can, in parliament, be a good opposition. We're used to that," said Malavoy.

The next session of the national assembly begins on Feb. 14.