This year could see the Midlands become the crucible of national politics. For the Government, Number 10 is extremely keen to see Andy Street become West Midlands Mayor, so it can use that victory to show how Conservative policies do “work for everyone” in a region that is especially close to the heart of one of Theresa May’s chiefs of staff. For Labour, all eyes are on the West Midland’s Gerard Coyne, who is challenging for Unite’s top job. He is seen as more centrist than incumbent Len McCluskey and, given Labour’s reliance on union cash, a bigger threat to Corbyn. As the region also holds a number of marginal seats, we could see the Midlands becoming a vital political bellwether in 2017.