MONTREAL—While visiting a cheese factory near Drummondville on Monday morning, Parti Quebecois leader Pauline Marois addressed student protesters and the mounting threat of a split in the sovereigntist vote.

With polls showing that Marois could head a minority government on the morning of Sept. 5, the PQ’s concrete lady called on her flock to unite to counter the threat of a “Liberal-Caquiste government.”

On Saturday, former PQ premier Jacques Parizeau donated $200 to Jean-Martin Aussant, a former pequiste who left the party to form the hardline separatist Option Nationale. With his donation, Parizeau called on sovereigntists to support Aussant’s campaign in the central Quebec riding of Nicolet-Yamaska.

Parizeau’s endorsement of Marois’ rival was seen as a setback to the PQ campaign, only a week before polls open on Sept. 4.

“Go and vote on the fourth of September, that is the solution. Even if law 78 is a bad law, we have to respect the law,” said Marois, speaking later in the morning at CEGEP de Sorel.

Marois warned students on Monday that if she is only elected to a minority, her government could be incapable of revoking Bill 78, the emergency legislation passed by the Charest Liberals in the waning days of the National Assembly. The Bill ended the school year and introduced harsh fines for students or groups blocking access to educational buildings.

In a minority, without the support of the Liberals or CAQ, Marois told students on Monday that the unpopular law could stand.

With students protesting at Montreal’s two Francophone universities on Monday morning, Marois urged the students to return to class and respect the law.