Their Syco-issued cover of Damien Rice's Cannonball sold 68,800 copies by the end of business on Monday to put it around 38,000 sales in front of its nearest challenger, according to Official Charts Company data. However, its sales in the week so far are fewer than the lead Cardle commanded day one for his own winner's single When We Collide a year ago.
Unusually, the X Factor winner's single has been released two weeks before the Christmas chart, which is announced on December 25 this year, so, although Cannonball looks destined to lead this coming Sunday's countdown, it will have to hang on another week to be the Christmas number one.
Rice's original version of Cannonball is heading for a chart return on the back of Little Mix's cover. Having made the Top 10 for the first time this year after being performed by X Factor contestant John Adams, the Atlantic-handled single returns as the 11th best seller of the week to date. Michael Buble leads albums midweeks (see separate story).
Lining up behind Little Mix, who beat Marcus Collins in last Sunday's final, are two acts who featured on The X Factor over the weekend. Parlophone signings Coldplay look on course for their highest chart peak on the singles chart since Viva La Vida reached number one in 2008 with Paradise's sales leaping 261% after they performed it on the ITV1 programme. Having ranked seventh on last Sunday's chart, it is the new chart week's second biggest seller.
Meanwhile, Syco artist Leona Lewis, who performed on the Saturday programme, is showing up as a new entry at three with Hurt, while 2009 runner-up Olly Murs' Epic single Dance With Me Tonight, which climbed to one last weekend, is now down to four. Def Jam/Mercury's former chart topper We Found Love by Rihanna featuring Calvin Harris completes the top five, dropping 4-5.
Mariah Carey's All I Want For Christmas Is You is heading for the Top 10 for the first time since 2007 with the RCA-handled single moving 12-7 in the midweeks, while Warner Bros's Fairytale Of New York by Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl leads a wave of other festive singles progressing as it rises 15-13.
The full midweek singles and albums charts are on musicweek.com.