Brown and Sarkozy Hold Emergency Talks in Paris; Meeting: French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Gordon Brown Are Drafting Europe's Response to the Crisis

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Byline: PAUL WAUGH

GORDON BROWN led fresh EU talks to avert global financial meltdown today as a poll found his strong showing on the economy had boosted Labour's fortunes.

The Prime Minister joined French president Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris to draft Europe's response to the credit crisis and to help EU member Hungary avoid bankruptcy.

The emergency talks were taking place at the president's private residence ahead of a visit to London by German chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday.

Mr Brown was leading efforts to get the International Monetary Fund to bail out Hungary, which has been targeted by international speculators driving down its currency and stock market.

EU leaders fear that if Budapest is plunged into an Iceland-style crisis, there will be a domino effect on neighbouring states.

Further evidence of a "Brown bounce" came in a poll today suggesting Labour has slashed the Conservatives' lead by 12 points in less than two months.

The ComRes survey for The Independent put Labour on 31 per cent (up two), against 39 per cent (down two) for the Tories and Liberal

Democrats on 16 per cent (down two). …