Hillsborough favourite for Christmas Number 1 heading into the weekend

The Justice Collective’s Hillsborough tribute single leads the race to the 2012 Christmas Number 1 in the Official Charts Company’s final sales bulletin of the week. Plus: Find out where the other Christmas Number 1 contenders currently are!

The Justice Collective’s Hillsborough tribute single leads the race to the 2012 Christmas Number 1 in the Official Charts Company’s final sales bulletin of the week.

The race to the 2012 Christmas Number 1 remains finely balanced going into the weekend. In the Official Charts Company’s final sales bulletin of the week, The Justice Collective’s Hillsborough tribute single, He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother, maintains its lead over James Arthur’s Impossible for the third day running, having sold 23,000 copies more than the X Factor winner up to midnight last night (with five days of sales counted).

The Official Charts Company’s managing director Martin Talbot says:

“The momentum is in favour of the Justice Collective, who now have a decent lead, having sold around 15% more than James Arthur at this point. But they have opened up their lead in just two days – it could easily be closed over the next two days.

The Justice Collective are favourites right now – but their lead is not unbridgeable by any means. With two days of sales left to be counted, it is all to play for.”

Approaching the final countdown

Given the large sales volumes of the top two singles, other tracks which have been tipped as Christmas Number 1 contenders may now be out of the running. Psy’s mega-selling international smash, Gangnam Style, climbs one place to Number 8 today, while Gabrielle Aplin’s cover of The Power Of Love is down five places to Number 9.

YouTube blogger Alex Day, who gate-crashed the Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 5 last year, is at Number 15 with Stupid Stupid. The Pogues FT Kirsty McColl’s Fairy Tale Of New York, which has re-entered the Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 20 every year for the past seven years, is at Number 18, while The One Pound Fish Man’s One Pound Fish song climbs 15 places to enter the Top 40 at Number 32.

The Eddie Stobart Truckers also look set to enter the Official Singles Chart Top 40 on Sunday with their re-working of The 12 Days Of Christmas at Number 35. The Games Maker Choir and Alistair Griffin are just outside the Top 40 with I Wish For You The World at Number 53. Minecraft Christmas, Area 11’s festive tribute to cult video game, is at Number 60, and Robbie Williams’ Different is at Number 63. Williams, who is part of The Justice Collective, had asked fans to buy the Hillsborough tribute instead of his single when he realised release dates would clash.

And finally, Katherine Crowe’s Smile looks set to hold onto a place in the Official Singles Chart Top 100 for a second week with Smile (Number 95). The mother-of-two from the Isle Of Man has been diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Proceeds from the track will be used to help research new cancer treatments and help her family.

The Official Christmas Number 1 will be revealed on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Reggie Yates and the full Top 100 will be published on www.officialcharts.com this Sunday (December 23).