The public will be able to choose who they want to see crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year by telephone and details of the numbers to phone will be given out during the programme, which will be presented by Sue Barker, Gary Lineker and Jake Humphrey.
Before the big event there will be an Inside Sport preview show on Monday 13 December at 2305 GMT.
All the contenders made a big impact this year.
Cavendish features in the top 10 for the second year running after winning five stages of the Tour de France and following that feat by winning the points jersey at the Tour of Spain.
Daley added to his already bulging medal collection with two golds at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, while Ennis won heptathlon gold after dominating at the European Championships in Barcelona.
It proved to be another knockout year for 'The Hayemaker' Haye who successfully defended his world heavyweight title twice, against John Ruiz and Audley Harrison.
McCoy, who was ridden more winners than any jump jockey in history, finally won the Grand National at the 15th attempt on Don't Push It.
McDowell became Europe's first US Open champion for 40 years when he clinched his maiden major title at Pebble Beach, while fellow golfer Westwood capped a superb 2010 by becoming the world number one, replacing Tiger Woods at the top of the rankings.
In cricket, England's spin master Swann enjoyed another great year, playing a pivotal role in series wins against Bangladesh and Pakistan and the World Twenty20 triumph over Australia.
Taylor became a 15-time world champion in January and his fine form continued as he won six major titles including the Premier League and World Matchplay crowns.
Meanwhile, Williams became a national star overnight after winning Britain's first individual Winter Olympics gold medal for 30 years with victory in the women's skeleton.
The shortlist was put together by a panel of 30 sports editors from national and regional newspapers and magazines.
In last year's event at the Sheffield Arena, Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs beat former Formula One world champion Jenson Button and heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis to the honour.
The other awards to be presented on the night will include:
- Team of the Year
- Coach of the Year
- Overseas Personality
- Young Personality
- Helen Rollason Award
- Unsung Hero Award
- Lifetime Achievement
Watch a full preview of this year's top 10 on Sports Personality of the Year: The Contenders, BBC One, Monday 13 December at 2305 GMT
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