Christmas Number One is as much about the PR war as it is about musical popularity. Well, OK it isn't really about music popularity given that nobody buys Ladbaby's charity singles on the basis of what they sound like.
News that Mark Hoyle had a lead in the early midweeks did indeed spark further interest in his single, and there's been a visible surge overnight in its overall popularity on iTunes. Meanwhile Stormzy has been enjoying some mainstream exposure of his own, featuring as the guest of honour on (of all things) the Radio 2 breakfast show. During which time he even spoke on the phone to his old primary school teacher. I'm unsure whether that will necessarily expand his audience in quite the way it might any other artist, but it is still a major sign that he's got the promotional machine cranked up to maximum.
There is, however, another intriguing outsider it may possibly be worth keeping an eye on. Mystic Masterton even flagged this up when corresponding with a well-connected friend a week ago:
Well just look at what we have here:
Darcie Molina is the name of the lady behind the original Facebook group, the idea being to propel an otherwise unnoticed but appropriately titled 2006 single release from Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker to the top of the charts. Given there are people literally planning street protests later this week over the result of a democractic election, it isn't much of a stretch to think there are enough sore losers to also buy a random pop record to make a statement of some kind. There's a lot of ground to make up, and I'm not totally sure there are 80,000 people with enough bitterness in their soul to make Christmas all about hate and loathing. But who knows. In the meantime expect to stumble across more than a few tweets from people going "ooh we are Number 24 already" in a misreading of the way the iTunes charts work.