To identify the greatest potential for reducing overall caesarean delivery rates, we used longitudinally linked data for women with consecutive births 2001–2009 to examine the likely impact of hypothetical risk‐based scenarios. Among women with a first birth, singleton, vertex‐presenting fetus at term, increasing the vaginal birth rate following induction of labour by 20% potentially has greatest impact, with a 12.1% relative decrease in the overall caesarean rate. The potential relative decrease in other scenarios ranged from 0.8 to 5.9%.