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.
Following the 2013 county council elections for Lancashire, the Idle Toad Party have no remaining councillors.