Fatigue crack nucleation in polycrystal ferritic steel is investigated through experimental observation of multiple large-grained, notched, four-point bend tests combined with explicit microstructural representation of the same samples using crystal plasticity ﬁnite element techniques in order to assess fatigue indicator parameters, together with the roles of elastic anisotropy and length scale effects in slip development, and hence in crack nucleation. Elastic anisotropy has been demonstrated to play a pivotal role in the distribution and magnitude of polycrystal slip relative to observed crack nucleation sites in the context of constrained cyclic microplasticity. Length scale effects were found not to alter substan- tively the distributions or magnitudes of slip relative to the observed crack nucleation site, but in detailed analyses of an experimental sample, the location of highest magnitude of geometrically necessary dislocations was found to coincide precisely with the position of predicted peak plasticity and the experimentally observed crack nucleation site. The distributions of microplasticity within polycrystal samples were found to change quite signiﬁcantly between the ﬁrst yield and after multiple cycles. As a result, the effective plastic strain per cycle was found to be a better indicator of fatigue crack nucleation than peak effective plastic strain. In nine independently tested and analysed polycrystal samples, the cyclic effective plastic strain and crystallographic system peak accumulated slip were found to be good indicators of a fatigue crack nucleation site.