With the Gillard government struggling in the polls, ALP supporters in the United Kingdom have suggested beer drinking could bolster the party's fortunes.

ALP Abroad, based in London, is hosting a pilgrimage to Oxford University to visit the site where Labor's longest-serving prime minister, Bob Hawke, famously downed a yard of ale in world-record time 60 years ago.

President Paul Smith believes the 1953 record played a significant part in Hawke subsequently winning four elections from 1983.

And he thinks the present Labor government needs to adopt a similar approach if it wants to win the September poll.

"That record helped Hawke connect with people as being a regular Aussie working guy," Mr Smith told AAP.

"The (Gillard) government's done an outstanding job in terms of policy but what they need to do to win the election is communicate they are on the side of working people.

"Bob Hawke was an absolute master of that."

Indeed despite being credited with reshaping the economy, if you Google "Bob Hawke" today the first references concern beer.

Hawke in early 2012 again made headlines for his drinking prowess when a cricket fan at the SCG yelled "one for the country, Robert" and handed him a beer.

The former PM, then 82, immediately skulled the beverage and the video footage went viral.

There's a lot of misinformation about where and when Hawke actually performed his 1953 feat and ALP Abroad wants to set the record straight.

Its Oxford tour next Sunday will visit the various sites which have laid claim to being the true location.

One of the most well-known is the Turf tavern but its claim is somewhat diminished by its insistence the record was set in 1963 - a decade too late.

Mr Smith says people paying homage to Hawke on Sunday may try and beat his 11-second record.

And like the legend of King Arthur - where he who pulled the sword from the stone would be King - if anyone does better Hawke's mark they "would be a candidate for once and future leader of the Labor party".

And where is the true location of Hawke's record?

The former PM makes clear in his 1994 memoirs it actually took place at University College where he was a Rhodes scholar.

"A system operated at dinner in the Great Hall under which if an offence was committed - in my case coming to dinner without a gown - one was 'sconced'," he writes.

"This meant having to drink two-and-a-half pints of ale out of an antique pewter pot in less than 25 seconds."

Australians wanting to attend Sunday's pilgrimage can view details on the ALP Abroad website.

 

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