No1 for Little Mix but Army Wives are poised for battle

Little Mix have blasted to the top of the Official Singles Chart with their debut release of Damien Rice’s Cannonball.

But the victory is bittersweet as the single has achieved the worst first week of sales for an X Factor victor’s winning song since 2004, figures show.

Despite the huge exposure of the group with more than 15 million viewers tuning in to watch the show reach its climax, the track sold just 210,000 copies in its first week.

That’s less than half of last year’s winner Matt Cardle’s first week tally of 439,000.

And its sales are dwarfed by the success of past winners such as 2005 champion Shayne Ward whose That’s My Goal sold 742,180.

Little Mix even finished behind 2007’s little-remembered winner Leon Jackson who shifted nearly 276,000 copies of his debut When You Believe in the first week.

The only past winner which the all-female quartet have outsold is Steve Brookstein who triumphed in 2004, when The X Factor was in its infancy. Brookstein sold almost 128,000 copies of his single Against All Odds in a week.

However Little Mix can take some comfort from the fact their single achieved the biggest first week sales for a single so far this year. And it outsold the rest of this week’s Official Singles Chart top five combined.

Single releases are usually timed to coincide with the week of the Christmas number one, but this year programme bosses released the track a week earlier.