Centrist newcomer surprise star of Israel election - Yahoo! News JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The surprise star of Israel's election was a former television news anchor whose centrist party soared to second place in the ballot only months after he took up active politics. As leader of the new party Yesh Atid (There's a Future), Yair Lapid, 49, has pressed on with a fight, once championed by his late cabinet minister father, against the influence a growing Orthodox community has on many aspects of life in the Jewish state. He has pledged to abolish army service exemptions for Jewish seminary students and widen the tax base - lightening the load on the middle-class - by bringing more of the ultra-Orthodox, who make up 10 percent of the population, into the workforce. The silver-haired candidate's platform, chiseled looks and pledges of change attracted younger voters and normally reliable exit polls after Tuesday's voting forecast he will have 18 or 19 seats in the 120-member parliament, the Knesset.