Bain poll result not surprising, Karam says

Fewer people are sure David Bain is not guilty of murdering his family, a new poll reveals, but Joe Karam says the result is "hardly surprising" given the "plethora of ill-informed comment" circulated in the past fortnight.

A UMR Research poll of 750 people last weekend found the number of New Zealanders who believed Mr Bain was not guilty had dropped sharply in the fortnight since the end of his retrial for the deaths of his five immediate family in Dunedin in 1994.

It found 47% of respondents thought Mr Bain was not guilty, compared with 62% in a poll around the time of his acquittal on June 5.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents thought he was guilty in the latest poll, compared with 23% in the earlier poll.

The number of respondents who were unsure rose from 15% to 24%.

The result was "almost certainly" affected by reports of jury misbehaviour and of evidence suppressed and not presented in court, UMR research said.

Mr Karam, Mr Bain's advocate, said he felt various media reports in the past two weeks had "misrepresented the facts".

He expected, if a similar poll was taken after he released his next book on David Bain in September, the results would swing in Mr Bain's favour.

Of the UMR Research respondents who believed Mr Bain was not guilty, 79% thought he should receive about $1.5 million compensation for 13 years in jail, 15% said he should not receive that amount of compensation and 6% were unsure.

UMR asked survey respondents about the Bain case in 2002, 2004, 2006, 2007 and twice in June 2009.

After little change in respondents' opinions in 2002 and 2004, in 2006, the number who thought Bain was not guilty rose to 48% while the number who thought he was guilty dropped to 20%, with 32% unsure.

In May 2007, the same month Bain's 1995 murder conviction was quashed at the Privy Council, 66% of survey respondents thought he was not guilty, while 14% thought he was guilty and 20% were unsure.

The latest survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6%.

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