The riding was first created out of the two-member Surrey district in 1986, which had been in existence since 1966. Surrey had always been a battleground between the NDP and Social Credit, trading back and forth between the two parties. The riding was represented by Premier Rita Johnston, who was a prominent Cabinet minister in the Vander Zalm government between 1986 and 1991.
In 1991, Penny Priddy defeated the sitting Premier in a realigning election that saw Social Credit experience massive defeats all across the province. During the NDP government (1991-2001), Priddy emerged as a prominent Cabinet minister in portfolios such as Women's Equality, Tourism and Culture, Health, Labour and Children and Families.
Although the riding was won by the Liberals during their 2001 landslide victory, it has been a relatively safe NDP seat since 2005. The riding is home to a large South Asian community, whose population has exploded in Surrey since the early 1990s. The shift towards the NDP can largely be attributed to the party's inroads in the Indo-Canadian community.