The NHS Choir sets early pace for the 2015 Official Christmas Number 1

But early signs show it'll be a close race for this year's Official Christmas Number 1...

The Official Christmas Number 1 race is underway - and the NHS Choir is setting the early pace, based on initial Official Charts sales reports. 

It is already looking like a three-way battle between the Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir, Justin Bieber and X Factor winner Louisa Johnson, according to the early sales data collected.

Based on the first day's sales, the NHS Choir's A Bridge Over You is ahead of both Bieber's Love Yourself and Johnson's Forever Young, who make up the initial Top 3. 

A Bridge Over You - a mash-up of Coldplay's Fix You and Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel - have an early sales-only lead of just under 5,000, but with streaming accounting for as much as half the Top 40 now, things could change as the week progresses.

MORE: Find out more about the NHS Choir's bid for this year's Christmas Number 1

Over recent weeks, Justin's Love Yourself has been securing huge volumes of streams and, with these initial reports not including any streaming data, the race could yet swing back in his favour as the week goes on. 

Other contenders currently further down the chart are Lethal Bizzle's Going To The Gym at 11 and Shakin' Stevens' Echoes Of Merry Christmas Everyone. The updated version of his festive classic released this year to celebrate its 30th anniversary is currently at Number 18, though a clearer picture of all the contenders' positions will emerge on Monday's Official Chart Update. Meanwhile, Check out this year's contenders list in full here

Sales and streams of songs between 00.01am on Friday, December 18 and midnight on Thursday, December 24 will count towards the 2015 Official Christmas Singles Chart. The Official Christmas Singles Chart Top 40 will be counted down on BBC Radio 1’s Official Chart Show with Greg James between 10am - 1pm on Friday, December 25, and also revealed on BBC One's Top of the Pops. More info here.

MORE: How to help your favourite song to be Christmas Number 1

Remind yourself of every Christmas Number 1 in our gallery below: 

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Every Christmas Number 1 Ever