X Factor 2012 winner James Arthur leads Xmas number one battle

James Arthur (X Factor 2012)

X Factor 2012 winner James Arthur is leading the race for this year's Christmas number one.

The singer is currently ahead of bookies’ favourite to take the top spot, Hillsborough tribute The Justice Collective’s He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother.

James' winner's song has already shifted an impressive 76,000 copies this week, having sold over 480,000 in its first week of release.

The song is 3,000 copies ahead of the Hillsborough charity effort, which features Sir Paul McCartney, Robbie Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Paloma Faith, Melanie C, Holly Johnson, Shane MacGowan, The Farm’s Peter Hooton, and Gerry And The Pacemakers’ Gerry Marsden on the record.

Official Charts Company’s Managing Director, Martin Talbot said: “While James Arthur has an early lead over The Justice Collective after just two days of sales, it is exceptionally tight – especially with Christmas gift purchases likely to impact on both releases as the week progresses.

"It looks like being an extremely exciting race for this year’s Official Christmas Number 1.”

James debuted at number one on Sunday night with his cover of Impossible, becoming the year's fastest selling track.

Now the 23-year-old is on course to stay at the top spot for Christmas, a feat that Little Mix failed to manage last year.

The official Christmas number one will be revealed this Sunday on Radio 1.

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