The federal election held in Germany on 27 September 1998 marked the end of the Kohl era. It was one of the closest-fought post-war elections, which made the result difficult to predict and the election evening extremely exciting. In the event the ruling Christian Democrats recorded their worst result since 1949, a sitting federal chancellor, Helmut Kohl, was voted out of office for the first time in the history of the Federal Republic and the main opposition party, Germany's Social Democrats, became the largest party in parliament for only the second time since the war.