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X Factor winner Sam Bailey was favourite from start... but Nicholas was not far behind

Sam Bailey led the voting from the start of the live shows on this year's X Factor, newly released figures reveal.

The 36-year-old was the favourite with viewers in the very first week and went on to finish in the top two every week over the past three months.

Of the 14 public votes which have been detailed, she triumphed in 10, with the other four dominated by 17-year-old Nicholas McDonald, who finished runner-up in the contest last night.

The breakdown of voting - listed on the X Factor website - shows that the other finalist, Luke Friend, also 17, regularly struggled to muster support from the public and, until the semi-final stage, he only figured in the top three on three occasions.

In the first vote of the series, Friend drew only 3.4% of the votes, while Bailey took 23.4% and McDonald had only marginally less on 23.3%.

In last night's climax to the series, Bailey took more than half of the votes (53.4%), while McDonald pulled in 36.3% and Friend trailed on 10.3%.

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