Music

Race For Christmas No. 1 Set To Be Close

If you assumed that this year's X Factor winner's song would storm to the Christmas number 1 spot again, then you may be in for a surprise.

Early sales figures suggest that it could be a close race this year with Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars' track Uptown Funk following in second place. Of course, the song only became a contender after Fleur East performed the track on the X Factor semi-final with her version briefly hitting number 1 on the iTunes chart, causing Sony to bring forward the release date of the original from January.

Sales, as of Monday night, had Ben Haenow's One Republic cover Something I Need on 75,000 copies, with Ronson and Mars on 52,000; however, the latter track is expected to be well ahead on streaming - being the second most streamed track behind Ed Sheeran's Thinking Out Loud last week with 1.35m plays - and this data will be added in later on in the week (100 streams equates to 1 purchase).

That's not the whole story though; Haenow's track will be released physically in record shops and supermarkets tomorrow, whereas Ronson will not have the benefit of this. The bookies have Haenow as the clear favourite, being 1/10 with some (Ronson is at 6/1), but we'd say it's still all to play for.

Steve Kelly of dance label All Around The World produced this excellent graph which also suggests that Ronson is in with a good shout - if the line dips below 1 early enough before Sunday for Ronson to catch up, then Uptown Funk will take the crown.

Meanwhile, Official Charts Company chief executive Martin Talbot said: “The week of the Christmas Number 1 race is always among the most exciting in the Official Singles Chart calendar – and early data indicates that we have a genuine battle on our hands in 2014. By Sunday, we will know who has won out – but, for the moment, the race is on!”