Across western Europe it has traditionally been assumed that delivery of foundational infrastructure depends on a social democratic party which can capture the central state or at least acts as a credible alternative party of government. When social democracy is increasingly splintered and marginal, Working Paper 10 does not join the many offering various left, right and centre recipes for success. Instead it asks and answers the question What if Social Democracy Cannot capture the Central State? If social democratic parties are to govern seriously , they must address foundational provision and the household economy. But promises to fix the foundational are not a recipe for national success if the electorate does not trust politicians to deliver. Hence the importance of co -ordinated local and regional initiatives which can provide the performative and deliberative basis which is the solid preliminary to central success. The electorate will believe social democratic parties if they show they can do foundational things differently and better at local and regional level. While this working paper draws on British evidence and experience, its arguments are relevant in many other countries.