The party originated in 1997, when Labour Party councillor Tom Sharratt was deselected. He started printing a local newsletter, named the Idle Toad, and stood thereafter under this party description, holding both his South Ribble Rural East on Lancashire County Council and Coupe Green and Gregson Lane seat on South Ribble District Council.
Sharratt formed the Idle Toad party with fellow councillor Barrie Yates in 2002. It has been registered with the Electoral Commission since 30 January 2003. They are community based and not linked to any specific political ideology.
The party had three councillors on South Ribble District Council by 2007. Yates and Jim Marsh, another party councillor, resigned from the party that year, joining the Conservative Party soon after. Marsh later sued the party over a comment in its newsletter describing him as a "defacator". Sharratt countered that this was a misprint, and should have described him as a "defector". He was censured and ordered to apologise to Marsh. He later won an appeal to this order.
- "Idle Toad hails victory for 'free press'", Lancashire Evening Post, 18 November 2009
- "Toad in a hole at 'spelling mistake'", Lancashire Evening Post, 18 August 2009
- "Lancashire County Council elections special", Leyland Guardian, 26 May 2009
- "Blue tide sweeps across South Ribble", The Citizen, 4 May 2007
- "Vote 2013 Results for Lancashire", BBC News, 3 May 2013