The ruling Liberals -- led by unpopular Premier Jean Charest -- fell to third place, slipping to 27 percent support from 33 percent. The right-wing ADQ party dropped to 29 percent from 31 percent.
The results are significant because the Liberals have only a fragile minority in the Quebec legislature and could be brought down at any time.
In the wake of the election, then Parti Quebecois leader Andre Boisclair quit and was replaced by former cabinet minister Pauline Marois. La Presse said Marois, a popular and respected figure, was one reason for the party's recovery.
The CROP poll showed that 37 percent of Quebecers felt Marois would make the best premier, compared with 25 percent for ADQ leader Mario Dumont and just 22 percent for Charest.
This bodes well for Marois' chances in the Charlevoix by-election. The PQ was potentially facing third party irrelevancy after losing seats in the 2007 Quebec election. This modest rebound will help sustain the federalist /sovereignist dichotomy in Quebec politics which has helped progressive fores to rally around the sovereignist option as part of a complex intersection of class and nation.