The electorate was created in the 1983 redistribution. It is named after Sir Charles Tilston Bright, a former Supreme Court of South Australia judge and Chancellor of Flinders University. Though initially won by Labor, it was won by Wayne Matthew the Liberal Party at the 1989 election, and held by the party until Matthew's retirement in 2006. Shadow minister Angus Redford attempted to enter the lower house from the Legislative Council upon Matthew's retirement, and was the favourite to succeed him, but was defeated by Labor's Chloë Fox amidst a statewide landslide at the 2006 election. The swing of 14.4 percent was the largest in the state. Labor suffered a 6.2 percent swing at the 2010 election, retaining the seat on a margin of 0.4 percent, making Bright Labor's most marginal seat prior to the redistribution. Liberal David Speirs won the seat at the 2014 election.