The electorate's name derives from the name given by early settler Charles George Everard to his property 'Ashford' in 1838 that was thought to have the best orchard in the colony. The name was also given to a suburb within the electorate. The district of Hanson was renamed to Ashford in 2002. Hanson was re-drawn from a marginal Liberal to a marginal Labor electorate in 1993, which caused Heini Becker to move to Peake, now West Torrens, however it was still narrowly won by Liberal candidate Stewart Leggett. Currently the seat is held by Labor member Steph Key who defeated Leggett at the 1997 election. A redistribution prior to the 2014 election saw Labor's margin significantly reduced from 4.8 percent to 0.6 percent however Labor retained the seat with an increased margin of 1.9 percent.