03/22/2012 11:01 EDT | Updated 05/22/2012 05:12 EDT

Alberta Premier Alison Redford aiming to stick to the high road in election

EDMONTON - Alberta Premier Alison Redford says she wants a positive election campaign, but says she's ready for the slings and arrows.

"I think the tone from some political parties will not be very nice at all," Redford told reporters Thursday.

"I fully expected that for a couple of months.

"(But) that's not what I want this election to be about. It's not what we're going to talk about.

"We're going to talk about policy. We're going to talk about the budget we've passed, the legislation we've passed and our principles and our values."

But when asked if she "can take" Wildrose Leader Danielle Smith in a debate, she replied, "Oh, yeah."

Redford is expected to drop the writ Monday to launch the four-week election campaign culminating in an April 23 polling day.

Redford's Tories and the Wildrose party have been polling one-two respectively in pre-election surveys and have already launched attack ads against each other.

The Tories have 67 seats in the legislature compared with four for the Wildrose, eight for the Liberals, two for the NDP, one for the Alberta Party and one Independent.

The NDP, Tories and Wildrose all will field full slates of 87 candidates. The Liberals have 60, but leader Raj Sherman says they will have 87 by voting day. The Alberta Party has 26.

While Monday is the expected day to start the race, Redford remained coy when asked about it.

"When I drop the writ you'll know," she said.